This is the time of the year when, in my business as a Sports Agency, so many emotions rise to the surface. Athletes have spend the last 12 months intensively preparing for the competition seasion, and will now have to put themselves to the test. Some will succeed and others will not. There’s more losers than winners, that is for sure.
How do they pick themselves up time after time when disappointment occurs so frequently? How do they go from one race to the next having less than 48 hours to turn their feelings around, and having to correct previous mistakes at the same time? It surely is tough even for the toughest.
Disappointment is an inevitable reality in the world of an athlete. Learning to handle the disappointment appropriately is crucial, especially when you add a short time frame to the mix. This could effect the beginning and the end of a season in a matter of days.
We all know that disappointments left unchallenged can lead to sadness and low self esteem. But when disappointments are properly dealt with they can be turned into a positive learning experience and ultimately a point of internal strength. Many athletes would admit that facing their most challenging disappointments and defects have taught them a valuable lesson and increased their strength mentally, emotionally and physically.
The best way to deal with disappointments like an athlete is to take intentional and definite steps of action when your life doesn’t go your way or you find yourself on the losing side. The way the athlete handles the sets will effect what she requires in the future competitions.
So how can we adopt some of the most effective strategies and deal with a disappointment like an athlete.
If you are to reach your goals you must first acknowledge what went wrong, what part you played and what can you do in the future to correct or strengthen those areas.
2. Have a plan of action
Understand where mistakes were made and look at them with a critical and honest, yet constructive eye. List them if you have to, and don’t be afraid.
3. Set the wheels in motion
Do what has to be done. Take immediate action straight after the disappointment to deal with the issues. Deal with people (this is the difficult part), change a location, or handle objects: whatever it may be in order for you to put right what went wrong.
4. Give yourself a time frame
You know how quickly you have to act, give yourself a deadline. It’s good to be honest and realistic. Fantasizing gets you nowhere fast.
5. Visualise your way to success
The great thing about visualisation is that when you are going through a tough time and everything is negative you can take yourself out of it, and in your mind create the world you want. Feel the way you would like to feel once you have achieved your goal.
My life has had just as many highs as it has had lows. So many times when the chips have been down I would quiet myself and research my inner thoughts. Sometimes I would quickly be spot on what the reasons were that took me to failure, other times I would have to wait awhile but the answers would always came in one form or another.
What keeps me going is the resilience inside of me. The button I keep pressing that pushes me forward. And I remember to embrace the feeling of accomplishment when I do succeed.
I guess the athlete will always be there.
Please comment and share your thoughts on how you’ve handled disappointments.