We all make mistakes and we all need a process to recover from them.
Knowing how to deal with a mistake without getting emotional is crucial to quickly getting yourself back in the game. Every player should have a short process you go through every time you make a mistake. It’s called Error Recovery because that’s what the process will help you do – quickly recover from a mistake and get your mind right back in the game.
You will eventually refine the process to become your own, but basically here are the 3 steps you want to include in your Error Recovery Process:
- Learn From it – This means that instead of getting mad and emotional about making the mistake, dive into it and find out what you can learn from the mistake so you don’t make it again. Learn what you did that caused the mistake so that you can fix it – quickly.
- Flush It – Once you’ve learned from the mistake and you know how to fix it then you need to mentally flush the mistake away. Get it out of your mind and out of your system. I recommend some physical action that accompanies this flushing phase and this will be based on what works for you – but something like using your feet to clear the dirt around you if you’re an infielder, or banging your fist into your glove if you’re an outfielder, or pushing your helmet down onto your head if you’re hitting. Or, you might just take a deep breath and let it out…anything physical that can be repeated that will help you get rid of or “flush” the emotion and thoughts/fears about the mistake.
- Move On – And the last step is to leave it behind you – move on. Lots of players go through steps 1 & 2 but they continue to drag the mistake around for plays, and sometimes games. Leave the mistake in the past, move on, have a short memory. Of course you didn’t mean to make it, so learn from it, flush it and move past it. To show your team that you’ve moved on verbally cheer for one of your teammates.
We offer an Error Recovery sticker template with our Softball Excellence Softball Journal that was intended to help you start thinking about what your Error Recovery system is, and to help you start making notes about what works and what doesn’t work.