Ever noticed how some teams or athletes get progressively worse as the season goes on while others keep getting better and better? You see it in almost every sport and at every level, from youth leagues to the pros. Analysts will say that the winners are on fire, on a hot streak, in the zone, etc. But why? Have you ever stopped to think about what is going on under the surface? Likewise, why does a team with talented coaches and athletes continue to play worse week after week after suffering a big loss or series of losses? For that matter, how about a team who comes into a game performing really well, but before you know it the momentum has shifted and it seems like they can’t do anything right?
While there isn’t one simple answer, there are a few lessons we can take away from the winners AND the losers that you can apply to your own training and athletic career. Hopefully you aren’t falling into the trap of the loser mindset that we wrote about previously, but if you are you need to be able to recognize it so you can begin to correct it. If you haven’t read the previous post about habits and the importance of having a positive mindset, you should do so now. In sports and in life you’re going to make mistakes, but it’s how you learn from and respond to those mistakes that defines who you are and determines whether you’ll be successful in the future. So consider these two major factors that determine whether you’ll be a winner or a loser:
Losers are always thinking about, talking about, and replaying in their head their previous FAILURES.
Winners are always thinking about, talking about, and building on their previous SUCCESSES.
If you want to be more successful, after each game, practice, or training session, ask yourself “What did I do RIGHT?” instead of “What did I do WRONG?” Analyze the good parts of your performance and then ask yourself what you would do differently and what you could improve upon. Behavioral psychology has shown that whatever we think about and review over and over, we have a tendency to repeat. You can apply this tendency to the things you are doing right or the things you are doing wrong. This is why losers tend to become even more unsuccessful while winners tend to improve week after week, game after game. Likewise, you should surround yourself with successful people who are confident and who think positively. Entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” While I don’t have any scientific evidence to back that statement up, just look around you and decide whether or not it makes sense. In our experience losers tend to hang around other losers, who if given the chance will not hesitate to drag others down to their level. Maybe you have some people like this in your own life. When you’re performing at a high level and taking positive steps towards improving yourself, whether it’s physically, mentally, spiritually, or otherwise, you’re going to encounter jealousy, insecurity, and ignorance from other people.