The cut throat and exposing nature of athletics inevitably results in the odd below-par performance, leaving many athletes facing an uphill battle to regain their confidence for future competitions. Here is a rundown of some of the best ways to get back on track after a bad performance:
1) Race again soon, but not too soon– often athletes can dwell on a bad performance for too long. Sometimes the best remedy is to get straight back into competition to rectify any problems with the previous performance. Providing that you allow enough time to recover, this could be an effective way to get back on the right path.
2) Remember the good times– sports psychology research shows that the most effective way to increase one’s self worth in their sporting domain is by recalling successful past performances. Be it mental imagery or video evidence, remembering you at your best could be the perfect tonic to a poor day at the office.
3) Give your mind a rest– there’s a lot to be said for striking a balance between athletics and a separate social life. Given the individuality of the sport, athletes may beat themselves up after a bad performance. A night out with friends (alcohol free of course) could be a timely break, allowing you to mentally refresh before getting back to training.
4) Use your resources– no athlete has ever achieved success completely on their own; social support represents an important basis for motivation in all athletes. Coaches, friends and family can all provide useful advice and reasoning to reinvigorate athletes after poor performances.
5) Remind yourself why you started in the first place– go back to the start. Remind yourself why you fell in love with athletics. No matter what level of performance you are at, an innate love for the sport is integral to maintain motivation and foster long term involvement.