Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Recovering from a bad performance


Sometimes you have a bad race. It puts you in a negative frame of mind. You go into your next race feeling stressed and negative instead of relaxed and positive.

I came across this little bit of advice from a coach dealing with runners who are facing that situation:

Bad feelings can be contagious.... What should a coach do to turn a losing attitude around? This is a very important question! I think one has to strike the right balance between recognizing and learning from what has happened in the past and having a positive attitude for what can (or better yet will) happen in the future. In essence, the macro attitude we adopt for an entire season mirrors what we adopt during a single race following a mistake.

...What do you tell these [orienteers]? This depends on the individual, but I usually prefer to approach the subject logically. I can point to data that shows these women that such poor performances are rare and cannot be expected to recur. I'll show them that what they've been doing in practice, during technique sessions, is exactly what they'll need to do during a race. We'll do our best to simulate the race environment during training. I tell these women that the terrain we'll face for the rest of the year won't be as extreme as they've seen...and that they'll feel more at home during the races to come. I'll remind them of the good races they've had in the past.

That seems like a pretty sound approach.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 8:02 PM


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