Let's face it, we've all made mistakes.
It's part of the human condition. Whether the mistake was due to a lack of education, being distracted, or just plain stubbornness, we make them. As athletes, a mistake can be something as little as using the wrong angle with the dumbbell during accessory training or it can be as big as forgetting our belt during a powerlifting competition. The important thing to take away is making mistakes is inevitable and it doesn't matter how experienced you become, you will continue to make them.
Wow, so that was a big dose of wake the fuck up. Here's some good stuff for you to use that may or may not help you prepare for a deal with mistakes as they occur.
Self-trust is considered an essential skill for athletes. A lack of self-trust has been linked to a decrease in automatic motor functions. Basically, the athlete pays more attention to the actual execution of a skill, rather than going into the “zone” and having a more natural movement. This then leads to the likelihood of making mistakes or poor performance.
Mistakes made early on in training or competition have the ability to make you more distracted, which leads to more mistakes. The cycle goes on and on.
Competition is a test of an athlete’s physical and mental skills. The ability to move past mistakes during competition is one aspect of a skill called “self-regulation”, which has three phases:
Forethought: Planning and goals prior to competing; used in training in order to become proficient.
Performance: Behavior during competition when a mistake occurs.
Using the cues/images as needed to redirect thoughts back towards the next event.
Keeping a log of the mistake (written or cognitive), what tools you used to redirect, and the outcome
If you struggle with moving past mistakes during training or competition, please feel free to contact me for more information.
Collins, J., & Durand-Bush, N. (2014). Strategies Used by an Elite Curling Coach to Nurture Athletes’ Self-Regulation: A Single Case Study. Journal Of Applied Sport Psychology, 26(2), 211-224.
Goldberg, A. (2009). Letting mistakes go - A technique. Retrieved 2016, from Competitive Advantage, https://www.competitivedge.com/letting-mistakes-go-technique
Moore, W. E., & Stevenson, J. R. (1994). Training for Trust in Sport Skills. Sport Psychologist, 8(1), 1-12.
payasUgym. (2015, April 8). 10 hardcore bodybuilding quotes to motivate you in the gym [photo]. Retrieved August 13, 2016, from http://www.payasugym.com/community/workout/10-hardcore-bodybuilding-quotes-to-motivate-you-in-the-gym
Positive Coaching Alliance. (2016). Flush & park mistakes with a mistake ritual. Retrieved from http://d3kv8ayplk3lle.cloudfront.net/sites/uploads/files/PCA_FlushPark_MistakeRitual.pdf
Tedesqui, R. B., & Orlick, T. (2015). Brazilian Elite Soccer Players: Exploring Attentional Focus in Performance Tasks and Soccer Positions. Sport Psychologist, 29(1), 41-50. doi:10.1123/tsp.2014-0007