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Dealing with mistakes in sports

Any coach/teacher that works with technical aspects of the game will be confronted, during the training/learning process, with failure from the athletes.

The attitude of the responsible for conducting this process, towards mistakes or difficulties in acquiring the desired technique, will influence the way the young ones look at the issue and ultimately with the "speed" of the learning process.

A perfectionist, intolerant or impatient attitude can be harmful, leading the athlete to failure or developing some undesired attitudes towards mistakes, such as:

  1. Lack of awareness on the mistakes committed - except when they are very clear or done in a crucial moment of the game/training

  2. Poor handling of the mistakes committed, leading to constant search of excuses to justify them

  3. Unwillingness to correct mistakes even when they are detected

  4. Low tolerance to mistakes done by peers

To avoid such situations is important the develop the following attitudes in the young athletes:

  1. No one is perfect or free of making mistakes, so these are natural and make part of the process of learning any sport

  2. React positively to the mistakes done is the only way to correct them

  3. No shame/guilt in assuming mistakes done, take ownership on your failures

  4. It´s important to be tolerant and comprehensive with mistakes done by your peers

The points described above aim to extinguish a misappropriate attitude towards failure, therefore as important as applying them is the consistency of that same application.

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