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We have all had matches where we lost and were really upset afterwards. In this article, I am going to go into how to not only deal with the upset of a bad match or loss, but how to make sure you grow as a competitor out of that experience as well.

When we lose, we love to do a few things. We love to have pity parties for ourselves and we even invite others. We have tantrums. We kick, berate and beat ourselves up. Familiar? Keep reading!

First, none of these approaches are getting you anywhere. They only make you feel bad- so stop doing them. But how?

With each one of these, it is common to think how we “should have won, played better, suck…” We go on and on to ourselves and even others about how we are bad, suck and there is something wrong here- either with us or the sport or something. Then we dominate others around us by staying upset, pissed off, sad or dumpy. All the time we are miserable, but this is the best we think there is if we did not win- to beat ourselves up and not let anyone make a difference with us. LAME!

We also think that we have to beat ourselves up, otherwise, we may not learn to “not suck so much” in the future and kicking ourselves will actually make the lesson sink in. Again, not true.

When you lose, it is not he loss that makes you upset, but the conversation that you have about yourself and about the loss that is so upsetting. This conversation comes from you and you actually have a choice to have the conversation or not. Again, your choice, but up until now, you have been choosing to do it- I recommend skipping it.

Here is what TO DO to deal with a loss. First, do not indulge in beating yourself up and kicking yourself, pity partying or upset. It will not get you anywhere, except expend energy, make you miserable and actually make learning harder. What you want to do is take an HONEST and OBJECTIVE look at what it was that had you lose. Here, you want to look at yourself, because putting the reason somewhere else gives you no access to improving.

Here, you want to look at physical and mental aspects of your game that may not have been strong enough to win- this time. Did you get tired or winded? Then get fitter. Were you getting upset or choking during the match? Were you tight? Then work on your mental game. Was your backhand inconsistent? Take a lesson on your backhand. In looking at this, you will know where to work on for the next match so that you never lose for that reason again. Use every match to learn, not be miserable.

Just like any other time, you have to use your mental toughness muscle to have this happen and it takes building like and other. If it were easy, anyone could do it!

David Groemping
Gemini Mental Toughness Training

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