sábado, 2 de junio de 2012

Winning after a loss

As we approach new large definitions and powerhouses clashing in soccer at every level, world, national and local, we can see that many teams and athletes have won, drawn or lost (which is the norm in a match). The feelings that emerges from each of these past results will certainly impact positively or negatively performance. It is likely that some will be overly confident, others will be concerned and even self punishing with an over-critical attitude after having committed very grave or tiny mistakes.
When a footballer or any other athlete have high expectations for performance, which might come from a duty to represent some patriotic colors or corroborate a fame and prestige to be achieved or maintained , it may be very difficult to  maintain composure,unity in the competition, which is the force that pushes them on developing their physical and technical capabilities.
So we agree that some athletes who maintain high expectations are more likely to become frustrated and think about their mistakes repeatedly.
Your brain is allowed and certainly more comfortable on dwelling on mistakes and hitting himself, removing the opportunity to relax during the competition, making a daunting task the desire to make positive moves in the field. The downward spiral of an error leading to another becomes a commonplace, for worse.
Most football players will move into playing on "no mistakes mode". Will be very concerned about not disappointing their coaches, parents or teammates, so they will try at all costs to avoid making mistakes. Then, while trying to avoid mistakes, they won’t take risks and will refrain themselves from entering into a carefree status, this fear to make mistakes and poor decision to "play it safe" will more often leads to more errors.
Living in the loss of the last game and the turnovers incurred, inhibits or reduces the ability in the athlete to focus and execute the next play. Excessive thinking about the last play or worrying about  how their mistakes might jeopardize the game will hinder performance.
The goal to achieve is to acknowledge the negative thoughts, stop them and replace them with positive ones. Based on talent, the preparation made ​​and visualization of the plays that are to achieve the athlete shall move his mind into a new state of play. All these elements are called The Zone, which is a state that is achieved by staying in the present, at the time of each play and focusing 100% concentration in each pass.
The Composure is the ability to stay balanced, having a quiet and calm mind when they are challenged by accidents, mistakes or situations beyond their control.
Why do you think moving away from mistakes is easier said than done? Well, for some probably having come to compete at a significant level in football or any sport, means that they have been pushing their limits, has been working harder than others and their desire for better performance and better achievements make it difficult to accept errors or defeat. In addition, is within human nature to reject any blow to the ego.
However, learning from setbacks is essential to move up to the next level. We rarely will see olympians or professional athletes stopping on past mistakes or losses. Their energy is directed toward the next play. Rather than losing confidence after the defeats, the best football players use these losses as a learning experience and an opportunity to enhance performance. They will rush to classify such experiences as "disposable material, which is ready to be shredded and treated by our so called amnesia mistake".
Getting to the Zone and return to it will be dependent on how they handle the upsets and defeats and how such mistakes and learning were turned into positive thoughts.   
Making mistakes is part of football (and life) nevertheless, you have control over how react to errors.
Decide, determine, say to your mind that mistakes are at the least inevitable. Even, well coveted players like Messi, Ronaldo, Maradona, Pele, etc..has at some point did it.
Aim your efforts to understand this, committed to technical, fitness and mental training...choose a healthy lifestyle and track your progress...you will see how you will certainly become a better athlete.

Go for the win, not thinking about winning ...

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