#175: Athlete Tip: How to Come Back From Mistakes Faster

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Mistakes are an inevitable part in any sport, but how quickly can you recover from them?

This is a burning question for many athletes, and the key to overcoming this challenge lies in understanding and implementing effective strategies. Let’s dive into some practical tips that can help you snap back from mistakes with agility and confidence.

Understanding the Inevitability of Mistakes

First and foremost, realize that mistakes are an integral part of any sport. Many athletes fear making mistakes due to concerns about embarrassment or criticism. However, accepting that errors are a natural component of the game can significantly alleviate this fear. The real focus should be on your response to these mistakes, not the mistakes themselves.

The Time Factor in Different Sports

Consider the time your sport allows for recovering from a mistake. For example, in volleyball, you might have about 20 seconds before the next serve. In basketball, the time might be even shorter, especially if you need to switch to defense immediately.

Swimmers and gymnasts, like Mika from the Elite Mental Game program, have minimal time to recover during their performances. Even golfers, who might have a bit more time while walking to the next shot, often struggle with lingering effects of their mistakes.

Introducing the Snapback Routine

A critical tool for overcoming mistakes is the snapback routine, a technique that allows athletes to rebound from errors in five to ten seconds (or less!).

This routine involves a deep breath, a personal reset word, and a physical reset signal. The reset word should be something that resonates with you personally, helping to refocus and realign your mindset. It could range from words like “grounded” or “fire” to something unique and personal, like “sausage”. The physical signal could be a simple gesture, like snapping a finger or pressing your thumb and middle finger together.

Developing Your Personal Snapback Strategy

To effectively implement the snapback routine, it’s important that you practice it regularly. This routine not only helps in quick recovery but also aids in maintaining focus and performing at your best. Remember, the goal is not to avoid making mistakes but to have a reliable method to quickly overcome them.

The Bottom Line

As an athlete, it’s important to embrace mistakes as a natural part of your sport. What’s more important is having a strategy, like the snapback routine, to help you overcome these hurdles quickly and efficiently. By acknowledging mistakes and preparing to bounce back, you ensure that your performance remains top-notch, regardless of the challenges you face.

Remember, you have everything you need within you to excel. Keep pushing forward and trust in your ability to overcome obstacles on your path to success. Good luck!

Episode Highlights: 

[00:00] Tips to overcome mistakes faster in sports.

[01:14] Overcoming mistakes in sports performance. Learn to accept mistakes as part of the game and focus on your response.

[02:12] How athletes handle mistakes in sports. The importance of having a routine to overcome mistakes in sports.

[03:44] Mental preparation techniques for athletes.

[04:56] Mental strategies for athletes to overcome mistakes. Tips for athletes to overcome mistakes in sports, including practicing a “snapback routine” and using a “reset word.”

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