Whether we like it or not, adversity is a huge part of life and you might experience your share of
adversity throughout the season. Opponents are an obvious source of
adversity, yet there are several other factors that can take someone out of a game as well. Things like horrible officiating, umpires, bad weather conditions, long-term injuries, poor field conditions, a losing streak, negative attitudes from players, and a lack of playing time are just some examples that can frustrate, aggravate, and de-motivate you. As most athletes realize, however, it’s not necessarily the amount of adversity you face, but more importantly, how you choose to react to it.
How you approach adversity is one of the most important keys to success. Most of you probably can think of at least one player who crumbles under adversity. When players let adversity get the best of them, they lose their focus, confidence, and motivation to perform. As a result, they end up negating
their talent and will be ineffective on the field. Moreover, mentally tough athletes and teams design strategies to help overcome adversity rather than letting it get the best of them. The basic key to overcoming adversity is to mentally move from focusing on the problem to focusing on the solution. Successful players/teams understand that they have the power to overcome an issue because they can control how they react to it. Try to approach hardship as something that can be tackled with the right attitude and by remembering your goals. The following mental strategies will offer you a variety of approaches to effectively overcome adversity:
- Control the Controllables. While the world around you may seem like it is falling apart you can always maintain control of yourself and your reactions. Do not drag yourself down or waste energy trying to control things beyond your control such as the talent of the other team, bad officiating, the weather, field conditions, or fans. Focusing on the uncontrollables will definitely bring you down and increase you anxiety levels. Try to focus on the things you control such as confidence, focus, & staying positive. Keeping yourself intact will help you stay calm while deciding the best way to handle the adversity at hand.
- Take it one step at a time. Try to play in the present moment by letting go of past problems and
not worrying about future concerns. Remember WIN – (WHAT IMPORTANT NOW)! Do not obsess about mistakes you made or shots that you missed. Learn from that mistake and move on quickly. Field hockey is a game of mistakes and it’s all about recovery. If you keep yourself mentally in the past you will be stuck in mental quicksand; you will lose concentration, focus, and confidence. If a mistake is made stay calm and shift your mental attention to the upcoming play. Letting go of the past, forgiving yourself for the error, and refocusing on the present moment are crucial for getting beyond the mistakes. Remember you cannot change the past but you always can do something about the present.
- Trust you preparation. Preparation is one of the most powerful means of gaining confidence
and handling adversity. The more prepared you are mentally & physically the more confident you will feel. Many games are won or lost because of mental and physical preparation (or a lack of preparation). Trust that your quality training and hard work has more than adequately prepared you to be successful. Rather than second guessing yourself choose to think confident thoughts and trust your training.
- Endure it together. Teams have a choice of weathering adversity together or falling apart and just thinking about themselves as individuals. Enduring the adversity together will divide the problem and multiply your resources making you a stronger team.
- Never give up. Many successful people have suffered through losses, mistakes, and problems before they ever achieved success. Whether it be the “athletic world” or “real world” life is imperfect and will not always be easy. Typically, people who give up don’t realize how close they are to success before they quit.
To get more information about Optimal Performance and the services we provide you can visit our website at www.opawinningteams.com. If you are interested in having one of our professional team builders conduct a customized team building program for your team please contact Keith Waldman at 888-868-3380 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about how Optimal Performance Associates can support your team building needs, feel free to email or call us at 1-888-868-3380. We will be happy to answer your questions and to schedule a meeting or phone conference to discuss how we can address your company's specific team building needs.