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Use A Mistake Ritual: Let It Go! (Just Like The Song)

Use A Mistake Ritual: Let It Go! (Just Like The Song)

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Tina Syer (@tinaPCA) is the Chief Impact Officer at Positive Coaching Alliance. Syer played Division I field hockey at Stanford University, where she graduated with honors and was named an Academic All-America. Her coaching experience includes seasons at the high school, college and Olympic Development levels.

According to Syer, moving on from mistakes can be one of the hardest things for coaches, parents, or athletes to do to do because in the moment of a mistake, everybody is watching and it can be easy to feel judged. However, the very best competitors let mistakes go. They don't ruminate on mistakes- they learn from them and move on.

Here, Syer suggests the use of a signal, called a mistake ritual, that urges players to move on to the next play. She describes several versions of this mistake ritual, such as "the flush", "brush it off", or "let it go" (from Disney's Frozen.) Using this mistake ritual can completely change an athletes perspective about trying new things, making mistakes, and improving. Coaches and parents can also use this mistake ritual to help their athlete move on from mistakes.