From 2000 to 2004 (late in my athletic career), my team had to play the same powerhouse team in the finals.
And for four years straight, we LOST.
In 2005, we entered the finals optimistically: “It’s going to be our year!” we proclaimed.
But our hopes were dashed AGAIN when we lost two games straight.
There was, however, an important wrinkle to this competition: if we won our next game–against a different team–we could still earn a birth into the National Championships.
We had exactly 45 minutes to re-gain our sports motivation for this all-important game.
It was at this moment that my body took over and instinctively prepared me for this mental toughness challenge.
Upon entering our dressing room, all the wretched disappointment inside me over losing for four years came bursting forth.
I sobbed bitterly, and couldn’t stop.
Images of old losses flashed before my eyes, and I sobbed some more. At one point, I went to the bathroom and put my head under the dryer so my teammates didn’t have to keep listening to me.
Three minutes before our next game, our goaltender (who knows me really well), calmly handed me my helmet.
She looked me squarely in the eye. “You have three minutes,” she said.
I put my helmet on. Suddenly, my sport stress was gone. I was completely focused and filled with energy.
We won, and to this day, my team insists it was one of the best games of my career.
How To Heal Yourself When You Lose
Healing yourself means letting yourself experience your disappointment when you lose.
It’s the same thing you did when you were nine years old.
Your body knows how to heal itself, and it will bring back your sports motivation if you let it.
It’s one of those secrets nobody tells you. Instead, your Dad, your coach, and your teammates will try to cheer you up.
They’ll say things like, “Don’t worry, it wasn’t your fault.”
Or, they’ll try to get you to focus on the next competition right away.
The problem with this approach is that you end up suppressing your disappointment.
You try not to think about it.
But it eats away at you.
You start to doubt yourself, and you lose your motivation. “Why bother?” you think to yourself.
Of course you should draw the lesson out of the loss.
But you can’t even think about that until you’re over the disappointment.
Oh, and another thing: if you suppress
your disappointment too many times, you’ll end up choking.
Your body will CREATE a loss just so you can cry a little.
If you’re too cool for school, and think you’re above feeling disappointed, I beg you to consider you may be wrong.
So do yourself a favour and let yourself heal. You don’t need to do it in public the way I did.
In fact, it’s better if you do it alone. Then you’ll feel more free.
Once you’re done that, figure out what you did wrong… and do a better job.
And if you want to perfect your inner game so that you are a mentally tough competitor, I strong recommend you download my Ebook now, check it out here.
And if you’re ready to really crank things up, you’ll want to enroll in my ADVANCED online training. Check it out here.
Light it up out there,
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