How to Keep Your Head in the Game After Mistakes

Remember the last time you tried to work on a skill while upset? How did it go? Most likely, not well. When we are frustrated or upset, we cannot think clearly and focus on helpful things because we are stuck in the past. It causes us to make more mistakes because we are focused on avoiding more bad things instead of doing good things. We will struggle to stay motivated and have difficulty accomplishing our goals because we cannot give our 100%. Sound familiar? 

Emotional composure is your ability to remain calm, cool, and collected throughout your practice and performance, especially when things are not going according to plan. You can recover after a mistake, release frustration, and quickly refocus on the current task. Think about an athlete you would say is composed. Their emotions remain consistent from the beginning of their performance to the end. They do not become rattled after a mistake, can recover quickly after a fall, and are excited when they perform well but still manage to keep their emotions in check.

What is the opposite of composure? An athlete who struggles with emotional composure shuts down after a mistake. They tend to cry or become angry when challenges arise. If the first few attempts do not go well, they lose motivation and decide it will not be a good day. They become so frustrated after a fall or misstep that they panic and make more mistakes. You have seen this in competition when everything is going according to plan, and then suddenly, one error happens and leads to the rest of the game completely falling apart.

If you struggle to maintain composure during games or competition and allow frustration to get in the way of performing your best, keep reading. Today, I am sharing five steps to help you push past mistakes so you can remain confident, focused, and finish your performance strong, even on the tough days.

5 Steps to Keep Your Head in the Game After a Mistake

#1. Recognize the emotion

If you are unaware that you are beginning to lose composure, you will not be able to make a change until it is too late. Name the emotion by stating, “I am feeling X (negative emotion) because of X (situation that triggered the emotion).” 

#2. Distract yourself mentally

The goal is to take the sting out of the situation and make it okay. Remind yourself, “Everyone makes mistakes, so it is okay for me,” “I do not have to be perfect,” or “I am safe, and everything is okay.” 

#3. Cool down physically

Take a moment to breathe, stretch, get water, or go on a walk. If you are in the middle of a game or competition and need to do this quickly, you can push your toes into the floor to ground yourself or fix your eyes on a point in front of you and get out of your head. 

#4. Change focus to a positive emotion

Find something to get excited about or shift your focus to something you are grateful for. You want to choose a positive feeling and decide how you will step into it. 

#5. Refocus on the current task

Ask yourself, “What is the most important thing I can think about to do well here?” Focus on something simple and helpful that does not feel like pressure. 

There you have it! Now that you have the 5 Keys to Keep Your Head In the Game After Mistakes, you can maintain composed and finish every performance strong. 

If you struggle with your confidence, focus, and emotions during competition and allow challenges to impact your ability to enjoy the game you love, we have the solution for you.

I would love to invite you to schedule a no-cost Performance Check Session with us today so we can help you get back to thriving in your performance and life. 

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