top of page
  • Mike Hartman (Admin)

Healthy Mindset 09





Chapter 9: Handling Pressure and Criticism Effectively

As an athlete, you will inevitably face criticism and pressure at some point in your career. You will inevitably make mistakes. It is how you handle these situations that will determine your success. Some athletes crumble under pressure, while others thrive. The key to handling criticism and pressure lies in having a healthy mindset. Look back at the assessment from Chapter 3.

Did you have a fixed or a growth mindset when it comes to criticism and mistakes?


What type of negative self-talk did you have about criticism and mistakes?

How did you decide to reframe those mindsets?


You Are Not Your Mistakes or Failures You're not your mistakes or your failures. You're not the time you wasted or the opportunities you missed. You're not the bad decisions you made or the person you used to be. You're not your regrets or your shame. You're not your past. You are so much more than that. You are the lessons you learned from your mistakes. You are the wisdom you gained from your experiences. You are the strength you built up from overcoming difficult times. You are the person you've become because of everything you've been through. And you are so much more than just your mistakes. So don't let them define you or hold you back. As any athlete knows, mistakes are a part of the game. Whether it's a missed shot or a dropped pass, everyone makes them. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and not let them get you down. After all, a mistake is just an action, not a personality or a person.

What was the last mistake you made?

How did you react?

So how can you react better to your mistakes? The key is to have a healthy mindset. Instead of berating yourself for every little thing, try to be more understanding and forgiving. Accept that everyone makes mistakes, and that's okay. Remind yourself that making mistakes is a natural part of the learning process. And most importantly, don't give up. Instead, use your mistakes as motivation to keep going and do better next time.


A study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that Olympic gold medalists considered setbacks essential to their eventual wins (Sarkar et al., 2015). A healthy mindset is key, especially true when it comes to recovering from mistakes. By being mindful of our actions, we can catch ourselves before we make a mistake. And if we do make a mistake, mindfulness allows us to see it for what it is - an opportunity to learn and grow. When we are mindful, we are better able to see our mistakes as just that - mistakes. We can learn from them and move on, rather than letting them define us. So next time you find yourself making a mistake, take a deep breath and be mindful of the situation. See it for what it is and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. There are many mindful techniques that can help you learn from your mistakes. One is to simply pay attention to your mistakes. Notice what led up to the mistake and what happened afterward. This will help you understand what went wrong and how to avoid making the same mistake again. Another technique is to accept your mistakes. Don't beat yourself up or dwell on what went wrong. Accept that you made a mistake, and then let it go. This will help you move on from your mistakes more quickly and prevent you from making them again in the future. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help when it comes to handling criticism and pressure. Talk to a trusted friend or family member or seek out professional help if you're struggling to cope. Remember, you don't have to go through this alone.

How could you have reacted to your last mistake better?


What actionable steps can you take to react better the next time? (There will be a next time.)


Handling Criticism and Pressure Handling criticism and pressure is an important part of being an athlete. Not everyone will agree with you or your methods. There will always be people who are critical of what you do. It is important to listen to constructive criticism, but don't let it get to you. Use it as motivation to improve and prove the critics wrong.

What is constructive criticism? Constructive criticism is a positive way to give feedback that helps improve performance. When delivered effectively, it can motivate and inspire people to do their best work. It should be specific, objective, and focused on the future. The goal is to help the person understand what they need to do differently in order to improve. To be constructive, criticism must be delivered in a way that is respectful and professional. It should never be personal or vague. When given constructively, criticism can be a valuable tool for helping people reach their full potential.

What is negative criticism? Negative criticism is when someone points out what is wrong with something you have done without offering any helpful advice on how to improve. It can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are trying your best and making an effort to improve. Unfortunately, negative criticism is often unavoidable, especially in competitive sports. However, it is important to remember that not all criticism is bad. In fact, some criticism can be quite helpful if it is constructive and leads to positive change. The key is to be able to differentiate between the two and to use negative criticism as a motivation to improve rather than letting it get you down.

If someone in a position of authority is using negative criticism to hurt people or is making threats, it is important to report it. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about what is going on and ask for their advice. You can also reach out to a professional counselor for help. It is never okay for someone in a position of authority to use their power to hurt or control others. If you are in a situation like this, please reach out for help. There is a resources section at the back of this book with helpful information.

Developing a Healthy Mindset on Criticism Here are some things that you can do to develop a healthy mindset when it comes to criticism and pressure: Acknowledge your feelings. It is perfectly normal to feel upset, defensive, or even hurt when you receive criticism. Don't try to bottle up these emotions or pretend they don't exist. Instead, allow yourself to feel them and then let them go. Write them in a journal. Talk to a friend or trusted adult. Find a healthy outlet for those emotions. Be mindful of your reaction. It is important to be aware of how you react to criticism and pressure. If you find yourself getting defensive or feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and take a few deep breaths. Remember that you have the power to choose how you react to these things. Focus on the positive. When you receive criticism, try to focus on the positive aspects of it. What can you learn from it? How can it help you improve? What are the potential benefits of taking constructive feedback and using it to your advantage? Let go of perfection. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is trying to be perfect. Perfect ion is an impossible standard to meet, and it will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Instead of striving for perfection, focus on doing your best and learning from your mistakes. Seek out support. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help when it comes to handling criticism and pressure. Talk to a trusted friend or family member or seek out professional help if you feel like you are struggling to cope.

No one likes to be criticized, but it is an inevitable part of being an athlete. The key is to develop a healthy mindset and to use it as motivation to improve. With the right attitude, you can turn criticism into something positive that will help you reach your goals. It can be difficult to stay positive and motivated when faced with criticism and pressure, but it is important to remember that not all criticism is bad. In fact, some criticism can be quite helpful if it is constructive and leads to positive change. The key is to be able to differentiate between the two and to use negative criticism as a motivation to improve rather than letting it get you down. Celebrated Olympic gymnast Simone Biles faced tremendous pressure heading into the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. To listen to the news, you would think that the entire fate of the US performance at the Olympics rested on her shoulders. Biles struggled at the Olympics. She made mistakes. She ended up withdrawing from all of the Olympic events except for two. One former Olympic gold medalist said Biles needed "to check herself" (Dawson, 2021). British TV host and columnist Piers Morgan called her "selfish" and said she had let down her teammates (Cooper, 2021). Thankfully, Simone has developed a healthy mindset when it comes to criticism and pressure. She posted on her Instagram account, "I'm proud of myself and the career I've had thus far. This Olympics doesn't erase the past accomplishments I've achieved, nor does it define who I am as an athlete." Biles placed her trust in her team, stating in a press conference, "I knew that the girls would do an absolutely great job. And I didn't want to risk the team a medal for kind of my screwups because they've worked way too hard for that. So, I just decided that those girls need to go and do the rest of our competition." She told the Associated Press, "We also have to focus on ourselves because at the end of the day, we're human, too. We have to protect our mind and our body, rather than just go out there and do what the world wants us to do."


Making mistakes and dealing with such harsh criticism on one of the largest stages in the world is no doubt terrifying. But Biles handled everything with grace and positivity. She is an example that anyone can look to for inspiration.


What pressures are you currently facing?

What criticisms are you currently facing?

Are they constructive or negative?

What is your mindset when it comes to criticism and pressure?

What actionable steps can you take to develop a healthy mindset?






2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios

Obtuvo 0 de 5 estrellas.
Aún no hay calificaciones

Agrega una calificación
bottom of page