“How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.” – G.K. Chesterton
There will be a time when your team loses a game and afterwards you will think to yourself, “if only I did this we would have won.” I assure you that every one of your teammates and your coach are thinking the exact same thing. I also assure you that just thinking about what you could have done will do absolutely nothing for your team in the next game.
I like Chesterton’s quote but I think it misses the mark. Simply thinking does not accomplish anything after a loss. You must think about why you lost and then do something about it. There was one game that I had my junior year that was absolutely abysmal. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. For a full week after the game all I could do was think about how my team and I had screwed up, but I never did a thing to correct it. I never talked with my teammates or my coach. I didn’t try to practice on my own. All I did was sit and think. I was missing the critical step of doing.
When you lose you can’t focus on everything that you did wrong. Instead focus on two or three things that you can do on your own time to improve upon for the next game. If you missed one pass too many then hit the wall for an extra ten minutes each day. If you missed a ground ball get a friend to toss some quick grounders to you. If you committed a foul that led to a man-up goal for the other team then play that foul back in your head and see what you can do differently the next time around to avoid that foul.
Remember, it isn’t just thinking about what to do after you lose. What you do after you lose determines how long it will be until you win.
Yours in Lacrosse,