Mistake Recovery

You will make mistakes. Mistakes do not equal permanent failure. Yes, your error could cost you or your team the game. The fans and media may blame that one failure for the entire event, but in reality, competitions are full of smaller wins and losses in each quarter that when added up, in the end, provides one side with a W, the other side with an L.


But your mistake? That was one moment among a sea of other moments. In competition, you cannot get caught up in a mistake. I am reminded of Lebron James in the final minutes of a final missing a wide-open three-pointer to bring his team closer to victory, only to miss. More importantly, you could tell on his face that he missed the shot. He had already shrugged it off and gotten back on defense.

A mistake is a temporary situation, one you need to remedy, fast. For a baseball player maybe that means lifting the lid of an imaginary toilet on the field, dropping the error into the toilet, flushing it, then closing the lid. Yes, it’s silly, but the next pitch is coming, and you need to clear your head of the mental funk that has set in and won't leave until you intentionally let it go. Or the gymnast who, after making a mistake, mimes opening a door, watching the mistake walk out the door, gives the mistake a little kick on its way through the doorframe, then slams that door! It is hilarious to watch, but it works. She is back on her game and no longer thinking of the mistake. Lastly, the basketball player who, when he misses his shot, physically wipes the miss off his shoulder and does not give it another thought.

These are strategies you can use to get back into a winner mentality. Leave the mistake review to the person behind the camera. You can review it later.

For now, you have a game to win.