Developing a New Mindset After Failure
Losing is tough but it is a part of the game of baseball.
Your perspective on games you lose will determine your level of play in future games.
Losing can be viewed as either a demeaning experience or as gaining experience.
When losses are viewed in strictly a negative light, you tend to beat yourself up, blame yourself and get down on yourself. These negative responses chip away at your confidence and put you in a mental deficit at the start of the next game.
The alternative view is to see losses as learning on the job.
Baseball players with this positive perspective try to find the lesson from losses so they don’t repeat the same mistakes in future games.
This learn-the-lesson mindset helps you effectively process losses, learn how to play smarter, foster your confidence, and improve your game the next time you step on the field.
Players with this growth approach focus on the process of becoming a better player and refuse to allow one loss to become a statement about their potential.
Experience, if acknowledged, can help your ability to bounce back further giving you evidence that you are never out of a game or series as long as you keep plugging along.
Clemson Tigers had 32-29 overall record last season, an average season with a .525 winning percentage.
When new manager Monte Lee took the helm at Clemson, he was determined to instill a constructive mindset in his team for the 2015-2016 season.
Lee wanted no more negativity after a loss but resolved to do things differently the very next game.
So far the Tigers’ new mindset has them off to a strong start to the 2015-2016 season with a 13-3 record over the first 16 games. More importantly, the Tigers have learned from some early season losses, learned from those experiences, and elevated their level of play.
The Tigers gained invaluable experience after an early season loss to South Carolina. Not only did the experience teach the team to play smarter baseball, it gave the team the confidence that they can comeback no matter what scenario they face.
LEE: “I think the big thing is the experience… losing the Friday game against South Carolina, but bouncing back and winning the next to win the series really showed the team that we can win a series after dropping the first game. Our guys understand that they can still pull through and compete and find ways to win that second game and ultimately the third game… I think our guys understand that you just have to keep playing and keep competing.”
Babe Ruth once said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
When you look to gain experience after a loss, you strengthen your game… and you become a tougher team to beat!
Tip for gaining experience from a loss:
First, don’t take it personally. A loss is a loss; it happens to everyone. Be able to separate the ball player from the person.
Next, take out a notebook and write down 1-2 things you could have done differently. Write down how you can improve these areas in practice. Throughout the season, continue evaluating your performance in your notebook and set objectives to improve.
When you objectively assess your play, you take away the emotion of a loss and what you are left with is… experience!
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I really like what you said about how baseball players should focus on becoming better and refuse to let their potential be defined by a loss. My son will be starting high school later this year and is interested in joining a baseball club to stay active and make friends. Thanks for teaching me these strategies so I can start working with my son to develop them now!