There isn’t a pro player out there who doesn’t have a bad game every so often. That’s something you can count on in sports. Even the greats like Michael Jordon weren’t infallible but the difference between a pro and an amateur is how they handle those bad games. Do they let them undermine their confidence going forward or do they turn that off game into a positive learning experience?

High school players hoping for a scholarship by getting noticed by the scouts associated with need to focus on bouncing back after a bad game. What those scouts are also looking for is your attitude after a loss. They know that no one is 100% all the time, but if you can turn a loss into a victory, you’ve probably got a foot in the door. Here are some tips to help you bounce back.

1. Control What You Can – Forget the Rest

Whether you missed a chance at a great play or you were simply dealt a bad call by the refs, there are some things you can control and others you can’t. Don’t lose focus next time out. You can control what you do today but there is no going back for a do-over. Keep your mindset positive, knowing that today is a whole new day, a whole new game and your mindset will determine how you play today. Forget yesterday. It’s gone!

2. Work on Improving Technique

So, you missed a shot on the court or you swung at what was clearly an outside ball. Who cares? That’s yesterday! Instead of moping around, replay that play and improve on your technique. If there are no videos available, talk to your coach and other players you trust. Find out what you could have done better and improve on it for today and all your tomorrows. One bad play doesn’t make a bad player unless that player fails to learn how to improve on past mistakes.

3. Focus on Your Strengths

While working to improve on mistakes you’ve made, remember you do have strengths or you wouldn’t be on the team! Focus on those strengths to keep your confidence high. Every time you walk out on the field or on the court, focus on your strengths. Don’t dwell on your shortcomings of yesterday but focus on what you bring to the game. Focus on your technique. Know that you are good and that you can do it. Don’t admit to defeat but rather be encouraged by the strengths that have gotten you this far.

Perhaps if you had to sum it up you could say it’s all about attitude. Coaches can work with players who have a positive attitude. They know you are good because you’ve made the cut, but even the most talented players often get rejected by the scouts because they wallow in their losses rather than turning them around into future victories. If you really want that scholarship, show them what you’ve got – and what you’ve got is confidence. You know you have what the team needs, now go out there and show them!

By tbb