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Athletes Must Learn to Manage Mindset During Times of Struggle

Kaydence Johnson
Many football players had to focus on moving forward and staying positive this season where they experienced more losses than wins.

Any fan of sports will say that the goal of competition is to win. In high school, wins are often given praise and losses are often looked over or forgotten whether it’s by fans or the players. It’s important for student athletes to develop functional coping mechanisms when they encounter a string of losses. 

As the season unfolds for many sports, the mental pressure of being unsuccessful is front and center in the minds of athletes. Junior Kenzie Hughes runs track, which is very different from others seeing that it’s more of an individual sport.  Despite that it’s more individual, the pressure to do well is still there.  Hughes said, “I may not run every race how I want to, but how I deal with that and my attitude after the fact is a huge part into how I look at the race.” 

The attitudes of athletes are often impacted by losses.  While a series of wins can certainly be uplifting or inspire confidence, senior football player Jesse Shaddix believes attitude can be most important after a loss. Unlike Senior football player Jessie Shaddix he thinks attitude comes after a loss. Shaddix claimed, “My attitude after a loss shows me my true colors, and even other’s true colors. This year on the football team, we have multiple people throw down their pads and quit in the middle of the game and leave the game just because we are losing and not performing well or winning.”  Giving up hope or focusing on the obstacles during competition doesn’t serve any athlete well.  

Others like to focus on maintaining a good/healthy attitude throughout the season for having a better outcome for the next game. Junior football player Caden bays states,“It’s important for us to maintain a good attitude throughout the season so we can get better and have more success.

Attitude can most certainly be a factor of losing a competition. It’s important for athletes to keep negative attitudes under control so that they don’t limit their ability to perform well.  Hughes said, “If I go to a really big track meet and I show up thinking my competition is so good that I have no shot at winning anything here, then yes my outcome will be the same.”

Athletes must learn a variety of strategies to help on the field after losing.  Shaddix believes looking back on film helps him understand what he could improve on for the next game. Shaddix explained, “It’s important to look back on film at your performance, look at what you did wrong and fix it. Then look at what you did right and understand why you did it right. After that you have to practice all week then a game later on Friday, which if you fix what you did wrong last week you will win.”  

Losing can be mentally demanding but taking the time to process these emotions is an important part in an athlete’s career. Junior Caden Bays stated, “After losing you have to have a short memory and keep moving forward and working hard. If you let losing do anything but motivate you, it will bring the team down and your performance will struggle. If you use it to motivate yourself and just work harder, that is what’s best for the team to try and end the season strong.”

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About the Contributor
Kaydence Johnson
Kaydence Johnson, Staff Reporter
Kaydence Johnson is a junior at Great Crossing High School. This is her first year as a reporter for The Crossing Chronicle. She enjoys doing sport photography and plans to pursue a degree in photography. Her favorite drink is Dr.Pepper and loves to read.

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