What is often the first question you get after a game from someone who cares about you, but didn’t get to watch the game? When we grow up as an athlete and we hear all the time from adults “did you win?” we become accustomed to feeling like the win or result is ultimately the most important part of competition. “How many points did you score?” (or touchdowns or kills) is another popular one that gauges again an outcome that we don’t have complete control over.
When we start with these questions, we communicate to the athlete that what matters most in sports is the outcome. If I won, I was successful. If I only scored 2 points, if I lost, I was not successful. But we come up against better opponents all the time, which often means we may lose. We play against defenses that take away scoring opportunities for certain players, and you may be more of a passer or defensive stopper one night. Moving away from questions like this can help us instill in athletes that it is more about giving effort and striving for growth than it is about winning vs losing.
Reframe the question: Instead of putting the result first, discuss what went well in the game and what they could have done better (leads towards growth). “What could your team have done better offensively?” “Were you more aggressive on defense than last game?” Find a way to put the focus on effort instead of winning. John Wooden’s definition of success is important to redirect us to challenge the athlete to give full effort to be their best and not focus on the outcome: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best you are capable of becoming.” Becoming > winning. Growth > points scored. Let’s start to change the conversation.
"Get Better" is our PEAK blog, providing you with content to help enhance your game, your mind, and your relentless pursuit of the process! Enjoy.
By clicking the Submit button you agree