Updated: Jul 21, 2022
The final whistle blows, and you come off the field.
High fives, Lets Gooo, echoes a great game from spectators; the coach brings you in and says, "great work, guys, let's build off this momentum and carry it into our next game."
You have won the game But Learned Nothing.
The final whistle blows, and you come off the field
Head down, pissed off, echoes of we'll get them next time; the coach brings you in and says, "tough game, let's put this behind us and move on to our next game."
You have lost the game But Learned Nothing
All that effort, travel time, 90 minutes of battle, sweat, soreness, and all that the game entails, and you walk away with nothing, win or lose.
This is a problem. You have all experienced it, and you are missing out on HUGE opportunities to ensure that you optimize your future performance.
Every game is a critical opportunity to learn and grow by asking yourself three questions.
What went well? - No matter how bad of a game, you can always think of one thing you did well.
What could I have done better? No matter how good of a game you had, there is always something you could have done better.
How do I plan to continue doing what worked, and how will I change what I could have done better?
"Win or Lose, the process should be the same" - Kobe Bryant
Psychologically, this is a proven method to learn from past performances and efficiently analyze them without the emotional clutter. It will allow you to make the most of each performance.
When we lose, we beat ourselves up. We are critical of our performance but don't learn; we attach meanings to things we should not.
When we win, we are happy. We congratulate one another and get praise from the parents and coaches.
By acknowledging what you did well, you are reinforcing good habits which will neurologically influence them to be repeated.
By acknowledging what you could have done better, you are looking for clues in your performance to be intentional about improving.
And by thinking about how to execute the two, you are setting yourself up to be successful moving forward.
Tip: if you want to see a huge difference and ensure your next game is always your best, record these in a journal. The essential act of writing this out will instill this further in your subconscious mind and will expedite the sought-after improvements.