Someone has to lose

 In Coaches, Golf, Junior Athletes & Parents, Professional & Olympic Athletes, Tennis

sportsmanshipMy #1 blog is on How to Deal with Losing. It’s been #1 for many years. Why is that? Are people really looking for a way to deal with losing or are they interested in looking for a way to not lose. In my past blog on how to deal with losing I give some good tips on how to mentally deal with it. How do you deal with losing? I’ll bet you’ve never thought much about it and in this case your natural instinct takes over which probably isn’t a good thing. I firmly believe that it’s important to have an effective coping mechanism for most things, losing being no different. If you are interested in learning some better ways of coping, please read how to deal with losing.

On the other hand, if you are looking for ways to not lose, there’s really not much I can say: someone has to lose and sometimes it’s going to be you. The only ways to that you can avoid as much loss as possible is by ensuring that you have as strong a mental game plan as you do a physical game plan and again you can’t leave it to chance. As a competitor you have to be able to effectively deal with pressure. It’s important that you understand how to deal with emotions when they pop up particularly under pressure. You want to practice being present so that you have the best chance of being mentally & physically alert most of the time. You have to build your resilience in a way that most things don’t know you off your game; particularly losing.

You can’t do all of these things 100% of the time but you can practice and fine tune these skills just like you do your physical skills to ensure they work for you. The mental combined with the physical is what pushes you above and beyond anyone else out there. One of my professional tennis players might not be the strongest tennis player on the WTA but she can mentally outlast anyone on the court and that is what win’s her matches. On the days when she’s feeling particularly stressed and frazzled or sick, those are the days she might not win. Just as her forehand shot sometimes breaks down, so does her thoughts and emotions.

We aren’t perfect human beings. We can always come a little bit better prepared but we can still only do the best we can do. Some days that means losing. Losing is part of competition but in losing there’s always winning and visa versa. It’s how you deal with it that really matters. Let me ask you this, how do young kids deal with losing?

Happy Holiday Season!

Dr. Michelle

Photo cred: www.flickr.com

Dr. Michelle Cleere
In her own private practice as an elite performance expert, Dr. Michelle Cleere helps top athletes, musicians, and executives in competitive fields unlock the power of the mind and create the mental toughness to be the best. Dr. Michelle’s extensive academic background, which includes a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Sports Psychology, allows her to help clients deal with performance anxiety, gain more confidence, and build resilience. In addition to personal coaching, Dr. Michelle takes on many roles – a best-selling author, athlete, and teacher. Dr. Michelle’s bestseller line, Beating the Demons, helps clients develop practical skills to gain more control over competitive environments and mitigate the interruption in play to overcome intense odds and defeat adversity. As a 15-year USAT Coach, she developed simple and effective tools to mentally train her athletes, and they are used by coaches around the world. She is a professor at John F. Kennedy University where she teacher her students to use the mind as an ally to improve performance.
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