• Javonte Maynor

Forgetting Past Failures Is The Key To Athletic Success

Being an athlete require a great deal of focus, ambition, determination, and resiliency. Training prior to a major competition is where an athlete build up confidence and skill. Mentally the athlete is ready and physically the athlete is pumped to give it all they got. However, what most athletes are not ready for is failing at reaching their goal for the competition.

Society has taught us that failing is bad and those who fail will never reach their goals. Science also show that our brains often associate failure with death. The reason is that when we were hunter gatherers, not being able to hunt successfully and bring home food, was a matter of life and death for ourselves and our family. Genetically our brains were wired to associate failing at hunting with dying from starvation. Today our brains are biologically the same as our ancestors and if you do not know how to clear the negative association of failure with death from your mind, you will likely never reach your full potential.

The first step in forgetting past failures is taking comfort in knowing that all athletes fail. Great basketball player Micheal Jordan always talked about how he missed over 100 game winning shots in his career but that never stopped him from taking the next game winning shots when the opportunity came. He understood that its okay to fail but you have to keep trying until you succeed. The next step is setting a time limit on how long you will react negatively to failure. You should give yourself about 30 minutes after a bad performance to think about all that didn't go well and then start thinking about all the things you did good to remove all of the negative thoughts in your mind. Mastering this step will help you avoid chocking the next time you face a similar event like the one you failed at. This bring us to our next step where you should not think about past failures while you are competing. If the thought of I missed the end of the game shot in the last game creep into your mind, you have an increased chance of missing the shot in the current game. Instead, live in the now and remember all the shots you made during training to reinforce how prepared you are to succeed.

Lastly, use failure to take a deeper look into your goals and expectations. Maybe you need to change up your training regimen, improve your diet, or seek help from a mentor who traveled the road you are looking to travel. You may be very short, and trying to play a position on the team thats meant for someone taller may not be a goal you will obtain. So it's important you readjust your goals to fit your attributes. Since you made it this far in reading the article I hope you are serious about being mentally tough as an athlete and never letting failure defeat you. You lost the competition but don't lose your mind.

A few tips in this article was taken from Momentum Fitness.

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