One of the most powerful traits a softball player can have is the ability to bounce back from mistakes, overcome obstacles, and keep pushing through adversity. Of course, this is often easier said than done. How do you bounce back when you just cost your team a run on defense or stranded the tying run in scoring position after you struck out looking with two outs? While there are various sports psychology tips and tricks for improving your mental game, here are 3 simple tips you can start using today to help you bounce back from your softball mistakes:
Accept: Accept that you made a mistake and that you're upset about it. Â If you feel mad, frustrated, embarrassed, sad, upset or any other negative emotion because you messed up, that's OK!Â It just means your human and means you care about what happens on the field.Â Don't fight that or beat yourself up for feeling that way.Â Allow it for a moment, accept and acknowledge that you felt it, then side it aside for the rest of the game.Â There will be lots of time to evaluate it further later.Â Right now, you need to reset your mind and body for the next play!
Remember the big picture: No game ever comes down to just one play or just one mistake. Even if your mistake stands out the most, chances are there were many, many, many other missed opportunities during the game that could have made a difference in the final outcome.Â If every player on a team did exactly what they were supposed to do in every given situation, your mistake wouldn't be such a big deal.Â Unless everyone on your team went 3-3 in the batter's box today and did everything perfectly on defense, you're not the only one who could've done better.Â You're not the only player that had an opportunity to make a difference in the game and failed to do so.Â Remember that the entire fate of the team does NOT lie upon your shoulders only.
Also, think back to when you've seen other players make mistakes then go on to do great things and help their team win. It DOES happen and can happen for you too, if you let it! The only person that stops that from happening for you is you. If it can happen for others, it can happen for you.Â You know very well that players DO come back from mistakes, you just need to adjust your mindset to believe you can be one of them!
Take in and return the high fives: One of the greatest things about being on a team is the built in support system. When your teammates try to pick you up after a mistake, let them!
One of the worst things you can do after making a mistake is shut out the help your teammates offer you. Not only do you keep the mistake with you longer than necessary, you also spread the negativity you feel to your team by ignoring their positivity. Don't be that person. You already made one mistake, don't compound it or spread it's negativity to the rest of your team.
Instead, accept the high fives or verbal pick-ups your teammates offer you.Â Allow their positive talk into your mind instead of shutting it out.Â Start encouraging others on your team when it's their turn to bat or make a defensive play.Â Cheer like crazy if one of your teammates helps make up for your error by making a great play or getting a great hit. All of these things small actions help squash negativity after a mistake while spreading positivity and shifting, or keeping, momentum in your team's favor.