8 Proven Strategies for Dealing With Failure in Sports

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Athletes deal with failure all the time, regardless of how good they are. These moments could be difficult and if you don’t know how to handle them, it can crush you. It’s important to have mechanisms in place to help you deal with failure in sports if it happens when you’re performing and after. Here are eight things that’ll help you to regain your confidence.

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Acknowledge the Disappointment

One of the ways you can handle failure in sports is by recognizing and taking time to understand your disappointment. It’s understandable to be sad when you didn’t perform as expected so don’t run away from these feelings. The best thing you can do is process them by talking to someone, reviewing what you did and correcting the errors. 

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Believe in Yourself

spotcovery-8 Proven Strategies for Dealing With Failure in Sports
A woman stays focused while running. Source: Photo by RF._.studio

When things don’t go as planned, it’s easy to doubt yourself but in these moments you need to reinforce belief in yourself. Former boxer Muhammad Ali did this brilliantly. At the age of 22, when he was still a young athlete, he beat one of the best boxers of the time Sonny Liston. 

After he stated with confidence, “I am the greatest thing that ever lived.” Ali knew that he had to believe in himself because you won’t always have people’s support. Be your own biggest cheerleader.

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Keep Going

spotcovery-8 Proven Strategies for Dealing With Failure in Sports
An athlete looking forward. Source: Photo by nappy

The best athletes seem like they always have things going for them. However, if you look at their journey to the top, you’ll realize that they dealt with failure. The difference is they didn’t give up. They kept going and their resilience paid off. 

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Motivate Yourself

Kobe Bryant on the Fear of Failure. Video Credit: Piotrekz Productions

So many successful athletes narrate how they turned around their failures. One of the things they did was use it as motivation. If they never made it to their high school or varsity team, they worked harder and eventually became the best at the professional level. 

Grab a few sports motivational books on Amazon.

Stay Positive

It’s difficult to look at the positive side of things when dealing with failure in sports but you have to try and do it. We’ve seen players talk to themselves during games, trying to get the crowd to cheer louder and express raw emotion as a way of reassuring themselves. They use their worst moments to lift themselves and that’s how they make comebacks.

Grab a bottle of water on Amazon.

Switch Things Up

Part of handling failure in sports is knowing when to change things. Perhaps the team you’re working with needs to change or you need to move to another team. The way you’re eating, or training might not be right so be ready to work with alternatives. 

Stop Looking for Perfection

Aiming for perfection might make you overlook the positive things you’ve done. You’ll always feel like you aren’t doing enough hence the feeling of failure. 

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you to focus on the right things. Also, it’ll help you set appropriate expectations that’ll make failure tolerable. 

Use Mistakes as Lessons

You can’t become good at what you do without making mistakes. The mistake isn’t the problem. The inability to learn from them is the problem. However, if you study your mistakes, extract the lessons and become better, then you’re making progress which only leads you to your next goal.

It’s not easy to deal with failure let alone when it happens in sports. Your teammates and fans expect so much that if you don’t meet their expectations, it can take a toll on your emotional and mental health. We hope the tips we’ve shared above help you deal with failure in sports. 

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