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Success flop. Problem solved.

Success flop. Problem solved.

We have all heard it before, learn from your mistakes. But as much as we hear this, we may not actually abide by it. This consistent reminder followed by action, can really make a difference between success, and well just noth’in happen’in. Most situations in life put us in position to learn. Sport especially is a cycle of challenges and opportunities for growth. But if we do not take the time in sport (or life) to own our actions and put forth effort to move forward with positive change, we remain in our comfort zone and then plateau.

Recently, I ran in a race that I did not prepare for correctly. My body and mind seemed strong enough to push through the race and finish successfully, but apparently I was not strong enough to recover. It was like a success-flop. The consequence was delayed illness and injury. No matter what I did to regain health in the days following the race, my lack of prep coupled with major dehydration, resulted in uncomfortable consequences. For many this would be an open door to just quit and avoid future discomfort. But I love to run, so I knew I had to live with the mistake and keep it alive for a bit -- in other words, suffer the consequences -- because I wanted to learn how to make the next time a success minus the flop. From this experience and the work I do, it has become very apparent that mistakes are like an extinct species. If we do not pay attention to the loss, and study the WHY, both become unfortunately useless information.  But if used the right way -- for example, following the 3 reset to success steps below -- even time resulting in a flop, is time well spent.

Acknowledge:

Think of a recent personally challenging situation. First write down your goal, and then write down what actually happened.

For example; I wanted to run the entire race, no stopping, and complete it in a personally expectable time. This actually did happen! But, the unfortunate thing was that I did not really finish. My recovery was a flop and recovery is a huge part of “the race” as a runner (or for any athlete). Improper recovery throws a big wrench in future training. Therefore, now I have to accept my position and learn/plan what to do next time.

Learn:

Start by making a list, pinpointing your mistakes and why they happened. Seeing this in print is a very important step. For example, my recent success flop was caused by not training adequate distances, not drinking the proper fluids, and not following a post-race game plan of stretching and elevating my legs. Seeing these ideas written down, clarifies that avoiding a flop next race is do-able, and gives me a template of training procedures.

Refocus:

Now it is time to ditch the mistakes-talk, and prepare a future solid approach:

Write out a plan and follow through with the steps.

For example: Train systematically to build physical stamina.

  • The body’s joints and muscles need forewarning of the length of time expected to perform at a certain pace.

  • Treat one training run per week as though it is a race-run to conceptually be ready; mind, body, and spirit.

  • Also, stage more runs similar to the course and practice internal dialogue to know what to do if certain thoughts or situations arise.

I tell my athletes train to compete and compete like training – This is a solid idea that works awesome in so many situations in life, it is also mentally calming and creates a perspective that the work you are doing is filled with purpose. The best part: less aftershock from overloading the system, in-turn avoiding repercussions such as complete defeat or burnout.

9 Sport psych tips for the win

9 Sport psych tips for the win