Mental Monday's With Coach Gad: Learning How To Fail

Mental Monday's With Coach Gad: Learning How To Fail

Hello parents, last time we looked at the importance of having clearly defined goals. Today we are going to begin to look at ‘The 4 Keys to Thinking Like a Champion.’

I tell my athletes and teams that champions are made, they are not born! An athlete can prepare all they want physically, technically and tactically but if they are not prepared to make the right decisions and choices during crucial moments of competition, all that preparation goes by the wayside.

This is why I put together the 4 Key factors into a free booklet and over the next few weeks, I’ll discuss each factor.

Key #1 is: ‘Learn How to Fail’

As Winston Churchill stated, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Most young athletes don’t realize that it’s not only ok to fail but it’s when they’re young that you want to make the mistakes. The reason is we learn much more from our failures than we do from our success.

When things are going smooth a young athlete keeps doing what he/she is doing because in their view, why should they change? Everything is great! However, those athletes that are failing and have the discipline to ask themselves what went wrong? Why did it go wrong? What can I do to make it better? And they know how to make the proper changes, activates a formula that is key to reaching their full potential and that is they are maximizing their ‘rate of growth’ (ROG).

This is of utmost importance because when a young athlete maximizes his/her rate of growth they are on their way to be the best possible version of themselves and these athletes with time will leapfrog those athletes that don’t adjust their training or worse yet, don’t learn from their mistakes.

Mistakes are information! Information to store in the library of the brain to use in the future. If young athletes calmly take the time to review the situation, they will learn how not to do things, how to adjust themselves for success and begin to focus on improving certain aspects of their performance but if they fail to learn or don’t know how to learn from their mistakes they will leave a lasting negative memory of the event in their brain, that will be triggered subconsciously each time they’re in a similar situation which ultimately causes young athlete to lose confidence or worse yet freeze up and not perform at their best.

The solution: have your athlete do a quick self-evaluation after every competition, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. They should first pick 2-3 things they like about their performance and then they pick 2-3 things they can improve on. When they pick the latter, they should outline a few things they can proactively do to improve and focus on this for the next few practices and the next competition. This is the beginning of - learning how to fail.

There you have it. I hope you found some value here. If you would like the free booklet ‘4 Keys to Thinking Like a Champion’ here is the link:

- Coach Gad

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