Learning From Mistakes
By iNSPIRE Sport
Overcoming adversities or obstacles thrown at you in your sporting career can be a difficult skill to learn. However, while overcoming is important you also have to be able to learn from such mistakes or events in order for it to be beneficial. While it can be hard to find the good in the bad, today’s blog discusses some methods to achieve this approach and how mistakes are actually a necessity for success.
What Mistakes Teach Us
Mistakes allow us to develop skill sets and attributes that are used when processing and moving past them. Mistakes are often hard to accept and deal with, especially if it is at a big competition or game that you have been working towards for years. Mistakes can teach us skills such as reflection, resilience and responsibility. These are all imperative in allowing personal and constructive growth!
How to Overcome Mistakes
Reflection plays a very significant part in overcoming and learning from mistakes. Without it, we can not objectively assess them and understand how we got to the point of a mistake. Some mistakes are simply unavoidable and accidental… it may be that you’re having an off day that leads to an uncharacteristic error. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t still try and comprehend what happened. Understanding what led to a mistake can help you avoid making the some one next time. Reflection also allows us to identify the good and bad outcomes from the event. This will hopefully help you realise that while it was not ideal, you still grew and learnt from it – which ultimately makes you a better athlete AND person.
Mistakes are Normal
Remember that EVERY athlete (no matter what level) have made huge mistakes in their careers. A very famous quote said by Michael Jordan goes “I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
At the end of the day, everybody is human and perfection does not exist. Be kind to yourself and realise that it is okay to make a mistake and totally normal.
What if a Mistake Happens in the Middle of a Competition or Game?
The worst thing that you can do following a mistake in the middle of a competition is dread on it and let it negatively affect the remainder of the competition. A useful tool to quickly overcome a mistake in a situation such as the middle of a competition is something called a refocusing cue. This is a tool that helps reset your mind when you need to quickly regain your cool. A refocusing cue can be a phrase or a movement. Readjusting your guards or socks or saying “it’s in the past” might be enough – every athlete will have something different and it takes time to find your own. Read our latest blog on positive mindset for more tips here.