“Moving Past Performance Letdowns”
There might be a workout where you don’t perform as well as you wanted to. Maybe you think you did pretty good. Then you see where you rank compared to others and you get incredibly frustrated or down. In pro tennis, players are only allowed 25 seconds between the end of one point and the start of the next. What happens in these brief breaks typically has a lot to do with the results of the match.
What can you learn from this rule? In a competitive or high-stress environment, you have limited time to process and respond. Stay calm, stay positive, and stay proactive, so that you can be your best. When you’re not working, keep your body language and thoughts consistent.
If you ever feel upset by your performance or get pissed by where you end up ranking, then come back to this email.
1. Feel and share your emotions.
Give yourself a time limit and just let it out! It’s okay to be angry, upset, hurt, or frustrated. Lean on someone, talk about your feelings and get it off your chest. You can’t get past it, until you get it out. If you’re in a competition (or a pressure situation) you might have limited time to do this. You want to get it out quickly and then move on. Because of event times, you might only be able to take 1 minute to scream and let it out, before you come back to what matters.
2. Learn from it.
When you can learn from your performance, it won’t be such a letdown. In fact, when you learn, you get better. So your letdown becomes a major part of future success. There is always a lesson, always a takeaway, you just have to find it.
After your upsetting performance, consider:
What can I improve on?
What did I do well?
Any lessons learned?
It could be a technique that you want to practice more, a strategy that may work better, something about your mental performance, or even something you learned from your competitors.
3. Accept it.
You are now in a new situation, and can accept where you are right now and work from there. You still have plenty of simple things to be grateful for. Realize that you can be smarter, more adaptable, and resilient because of your experiences.
4. Focus on what you CAN do.
What is the NEXT BEST step? Each time you catch yourself getting down about your past performance, bring your thoughts back to the present and what you can control going forward. Optimize something that you can influence. This means:
-get to work on your recovery
-eat some quality nutrition
-listen to some music
-get some body work done
-close your eyes and pray
Each of these is an example of how you can positively influence your mindset, nutrition, or recovery. You’ll want to begin thinking about what you CAN do to improve your CURRENT situation as soon as possible.
Don’t get hung up on what you “should’ve done” how you “wish you did” then beating yourself up for where you finished. Always try to pull a learning lesson from your workout. You must move on and take care of what you can. Go forward. At every moment, there is something productive that you can do. It may be taking a proactive step to improve your recovery, your nutrition, or your mindset. But, instead of dwelling on the past, focus on what you can do in the present. Then do that thing to the best of your ability.
A) When something doesn’t go how you wanted it to, what helps you?
B) Describe exactly what you’ll do next time you’re frustrated or upset by how your performance goes.
*Consider who you’ll talk to, how you’ll let off steam, what thoughts are helpful for you to come back to. Think about exactly what you’ll do if you have 5 minutes, an hour or a whole day or more to bounce back.