Turning a Bad Game Into a Motivation To Do Better
Hypothetically – Last night you lost a game against your rival team. Sure you’re disheartened, but are you rehashing your performance over and over in your mind, beating yourself up over every mistake made? If you answered, yes to this question, this article is for you.
Everyone has a bad game once in a while but replaying mistakes and negative thoughts in your mind only chip away your confidence which can interfere with your ability to perform in your next game.
The best way to prevent this from happening is to simply ‘let go of the past’. This does not mean that you forget you ever played the game, but let go of the negative feeling and make a conscious decision on where you place your focus.
Don’t Dwell, Rather Assess
In order to move past these negative experiences, you need to understand there is a difference between dwelling on a bad game and objectively assessing a bad game. By objectively assessing your performance with your team, coach or family, you can develop a future practice plan and set goals to improve. Sometimes, the goal can be as simple as focusing on your next game and staying optimistic about the outcomes.
Don’t play the blame game, no one person lost the game, there won’t be a single person on your team that didn’t make a mistake or doesn’t wish they could have done something differently. Assess the areas you need to work on as a team and move on.
“The primary goal… should be to develop desirable psychological and social characteristics as well as physical skills and fitness… Winning, should be viewed as a consequence of the athlete’s physical and psychological development and not the primary focus of athletic involvement.” (Cumming, 323).
The misery of defeat comes about in different ways. No true competitor feels good about or is satisfied with losing; however, the best competitors learn from losses and strategically use adversity to their advantage in order to become a better person and an exceptional athlete.
If you find yourself dwelling on defeat, seek the support of your teammates, friends and family, maybe play a social game or just shoot some hoops and remind yourself what you love about the sport and why you got involved in the first place.