Coaching Today

Remaining Optimistic After Losing an Important Sporting Event_MH 

By Stan Popovich

Some athletes who do not perform well at their event may have a difficult time in getting over their most recent loss. As coaches deal with this issue with their players, following are some techniques that an athlete can follow in staying optimistic for his or her next event.

First, do not make excuses or blame others for the defeat. Many athletes tend to make excuses on why they lost instead of looking at themselves and their performance. The fact is that the competition was better that day, and the only way to get over it is to find ways to do better the next time around.

Athletes should evaluate their performance and learn from their mistakes. Regardless of the talent, athletes always make mistakes in any given event. The key is to learn from the mistakes and not to repeat them. This is the attitude athletes need to have to get over the most recent loss and get ready for the next event.

Focus on the bigger picture. Athletes will perform in many events. They should not focus on only that one event where they didn’t succeed. Instead they should look at the bigger picture and know they will be performing in many other events down the road. The loss should be used as a measuring stick regarding improvements needed for future events.

Athletes should have a more persistent attitude for the next event. Many athletes who lose or make mistakes in an important event tend to doubt themselves for awhile. Instead, they should accept the fact that they lost and be determined to do things differently the next time around. Determination is the key in getting over any loss.

If athletes are not sure what they did wrong, they should ask. They should talk to the coach or their friends to determine what they did wrong. There is nothing wrong in asking for help. Even the best athletes get advice from others.

Finally, they should be patient in trying to improve their performance. Some athletes who get into a losing streak do not know how to get back to their winning ways. They start to doubt themselves and put more pressure on themselves to do better if the losing continues. It may take time to get back to the winning side. They should not put pressure on themselves when things do not go right. They should be patient because the last thing they should do is to panic.

They should enjoy the fact that they are athletes. An individual cannot win all the time and there will always be somebody who is better. They should not compare themselves to others, rather focus on their own performance and develop their own personal goals to achieve maximum performance.

About the Author: Stan Popovich is the author of "A Layman's Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods" – an easy-to-read book that presents a general overview of techniques that are effective in managing persistent fears and anxieties. For additional information, visit the Web site at



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