You strike out with the bases loaded, or miss the penalty kick in overtime, or miss the game-winning 3-pointer. It’s bound to happen at some point in your life, most likely more than once. The question is, How do you deal with it? Personally, I believe outlets (which should have nothing in common with your sport or occupation) are of great assistance when it comes to reducing stress or simply forgetting.
Failure is a part of every sport (baseball in particular), as well as a part of everyday life. I run into failure daily, on the baseball field and in the classroom. It is important to know how to deal with the failure that you will encounter on a daily basis. Some people (the lucky ones) are able to simply forget about the past and move on. However, most cannot disregard their failure as easily. When this happens, the ability to perform up to one’s potential decreases. Dwelling on the past harms the future.
During a particular activity, such as a game or an exam, it is best to forget and move on. However, to prevent a decrease in performance during a long-term span, it is best to develop a hobby that will allow your mind to wander from the problem at hand and will ultimately allow you to forget about your failure. I like to refer to these hobbies as outlets: something to rely on that will provide peace and structure.
Although outlets do not have to be productive, it is best for them to have some benefits. Outlets may include fishing, hiking, reading, writing, singing, dancing, running, or anything else along those lines. Personally, I rely on biking and studying as my outlets to baseball. (I also use baseball and biking as my outlets to school.) These activities are beneficial, amusing, and most importantly, they help me move on.
If I am in a slump and am getting frustrated, I just grab my bike and ride (sometimes 25 miles at a time). Or, I’ll go into a quiet room and do homework or study. If I’m struggling with a homework assignment or a project, I can always rely on sports to clear my mind. Often times, these activities help me relax, which leads to success. Both of these activities are productive (biking increases heart and leg strength while studying increases your knowledge), which helps me feel like I am not wasting my time.
You will undoubtedly encounter failure and, in order to succeed, you will have to learn how to deal with it. Try new things and hopefully you will be able to find an activity, or two, that will benefit your life.