How many of you have lost a heartbreaker? You know, you put everything into the competition and you walked away with a loss and broken heart…So now what? How are you going to bounce back? How are you going to pick up the pieces?
How do you cope with the disappointment? How do you bounce back
from a painful defeat? First off, lets acknowledge, it’s not
easy and it hurts! However, at some point, when the pain
starts lessening, anywhere from a few hours to a day or so,
it becomes imperative to view the match through
another lens. That is, how do you begin to pick the pieces
up? And what must you do next time to get better?
How will you take advantage of certain situations and continually put yourself in a position to get over the hump?
The following are five steps to help you, the broken
competitor, experience and move past a disappointing performance. Equally so, this list is great for parents, coaches,
and friends as they try to support the competitor during the
process of disappointment, release, and rebounding.
1. A right to be disappointed: You’ve earned the
right to be disappointed. Let’s face it, after putting it
all on the line, competing with all your heart, it is practically impossible to put on a smiling face and just forget things after a close loss. Give yourself some time.
It’s OK to be disappointed. In fact, it’s even expected.
Why wouldn’t you? You care, you practiced, you’re a
warrior, and you fought like one! Disappointment is a
natural emotion, it even hurts, and that’s ok too. It’s
not something that needs to be fixed. It is time that
usually heals it. Disappointment can be equated to
mourning a loss. Allow yourself the time to decompress, feel your feelings, and settle down. Paradoxically, by allowing yourself the disappointment you also
allow yourself the opportunity to release and resolve
the painful feelings. One of the things that makes victory
so sweet, and motivates us so, is knowing the feeling
and experience of disappointment.
2. One step closer: Believe it or not, you are actually
one step closer to your goals! The great Babe Ruth
used to say every time he struck out, “I’m one step
closer to hitting a home run!” Babe would learn from
being up at bat, and change his strategies every time
he stepped up to the plate. You can do the same. Each time you lose, you should wonder how could you improve and do better next time.
Don’t forget, slumps fit in here
too. It may look like you’re going nowhere, even backwards, but keep on plugging away and learning.
Maybe the competition is getting stronger or the
match-up is not as favorable. Remember the saying:
it’s always darkest before dawn. In other words, the
sun rises after the darkest hour! Keep plugging away.
That slump may be a major learning curve that just
needs to be ridden out, much like a wave. And just
beyond the wave is smooth sailing. Hang on…
3. Failure provides feedback: If you listen you become
aware. Failures, setbacks and obstacles always throw
us for a loop, but it’s the true champion that can readjust and glean valuable feedback. Feedback should be
viewed without judgment and as a learning opportunity in which you can make changes and adapt,
adjusting to the situation next time. Think about it Was
there ever a great champion, individual or team, that
didn’t learn from failures, setbacks and obstacles? All
great champions know why they are competing and
use this big “Why” to get themselves back on track.
4. Reframe it! Simply stated, after you have decompressed ask yourself the basic questions. What’s another way to look at this loss or situation? How
can I find something positive from it? What’s the
lesson here? Even though you lost, what can you
learn? And don’t forget, at some point; give yourself
some credit for showing up and putting yourself on
the line. How many others are competing with such
a heart as yours?
5. Focus on the process, not the outcome. This is
probably one of the most important points and the
major one that all other points can probably be folded
into. While you lost this performance it is another step
toward your ultimate goal. The match gave you valuable experience and exposed you to the situational
pressure of match play. This is highly valuable and can’t
be duplicated in practice. Remember, all great champions
have to pay their dues and earn their experience.
GB CompNet Staff.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
- Benjamin Franklin