To improve at a sport and be able to enjoy it, you need to stay cool and focused. No matter what your level, you don’t need to dwell on feeling disappointed about your performance. Simply focus on what you need to do to get better. Then you practice, and practice some more.
Swearing, throwing your equipment, and beating yourself up mentally will not inspire you to improve at any sport. Being hard on yourself simply doesn’t put you in the right frame of mind to progress.
Enhancing your game requires constructive analysis, coaching, focus, and practice. Constructive analysis means figuring out what you’re doing right and what your mistakes are without getting emotional.
Maintaining some humility gives a person perspective. But don’t let modesty turn into self-ridicule. Endless negative comments about how inept you are takes away from your focusing on the goals you set and becomes wearisome to others.
It’s difficult to be around people who moan and sigh about how lame they are. The fact is that most people focus more on their own game than how others are doing. However, what does count and get noticed is another person’s attitude. If you’re struggling, there’s no need to showcase your frustration.
The ideal mental and physical attitude for improving your game incorporates both intense focus and relaxed flexibility—which in turn is an good approach for living your life.
by Alison Poulsen, PhD