Handling Disappointment

The most important thing we can do following any performance is endeavor to learn from the experience. In so doing we enable ourselves to come back stronger next time. Sulking or feeling sorry for ourselves following a disappointing outcome serves no purpose. Honest, non judgmental evaluation does. Remember, for any peak performance to occur all aspects of an athletes life must come together. The next time you find yourself feeling angry or frustrated following a meet, game, or practice, try setting aside some time for quiet reflection and honestly answer the following questions, and then commit to coming back stronger the next time.

  1. Were my goals realistic for this point in the training cycle? For this calendar year?
  2. How great were the obstacles that I faced, and what effect did they have on me? Some examples include school stress, illness, friendships and relationships, rest and sleep
  3. Did I give my best available effort on a consistent basis?
  4. Were my support systems intact?
  5. Did I do a good job of managing the competitive environment, or did I allow my nerves to get the best of me?

Personal Leadership Skills

One of the most important aspects to a great team is the quality of its leadership, and leadership comes in many forms. We all know people who possess the charisma and confidence to be a vocal leader, and while that component is a significant one, there are many ways that you can use your style and influence to positively impact your teammates without being the most vocal. What is most important here is that you are leading your life in the way that makes you feel happy, and proud. When your coaches and peers take notice ( and they will ) they are positively influenced and more likely to follow suit. Some skills and attitudes that you may consider are;

  • Demonstrate a strong work ethic
  • Speak with honesty and integrity
  • Do not speak ill of others, or listen to idle gossip
  • Do what you say you are going to do. This builds trust
  • Show that you care about your teammates by getting to know them outside of the competitive environment
  • Count on your opinion of yourself, rather than the opinions of others
  • Display a positive attitude
  • Have a good relationship with your coaches