So you lost...

     Your performance did not go as planned. You came up short of being able to call it a success. You would categorize the performance as a loss. The outcome cannot be changed, so what now?

     Did you know that losses offer us the greatest opportunities for improvement? Where else can we see so clearly what it is we need to work on in order to perform better the next time? Soon to be Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux put it wonderfully when he said that hitters have a funny way of showing him what he needs to improve on. I recently wrote a blog post using Hank Aaron as an example of analyzing weaknesses and learning from them, but this post will address something different...self-control.

     I believe that most mature athletes would not deny that losses do offer good information to help us improve. They recognize this. They will study their performance and get to work on getting better, but do they exercise self-control throughout this process?

       What I mean by this is can the athlete separate the performance and what they are learning from who they are as an athlete? Use the performance to learn and grow, but then leave it right where it lies. This is the hard thing to do. Many athletes like to drag past performances behind them like a dirty blanket. They allow these performances to sabotage future performances. 

     Self-control must be exercised if you are to perform at your utmost potential. You cannot be looking behind you because it will only distract you from where you are trying to go. Learn and move forward. A single performance does not have the power to define you unless you let it. Study successful athletes and see how this has played out in their careers. Imagine if one of those athletes had allowed a poor performance to shape their self-image. They would not be who you know them to be today. 

     Be encouraged as this same mindset can also be yours.