Mental Takeaways from MNF and the 2012 Ryder Cup | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Mental Takeaways from Monday Night Football and the 2012 Ryder Cup

October 11, 2012 | Todd Stofka

Recently, sports fans watched as top athletes let a poor mental game steal away a victory. Looking for examples? Let's refresh your memory.

During the 2012 Ryder Cup, the U.S. team had a sizeable lead going into the final day. But a few holes away from victory, the Americans seem to lose their confidence, caving in to the more self-assured European team.

Then, on Monday Night Football, Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys let their game fizzle. When you're playing at home with the your fans there to cheer you on, you need to use energy to win. Unfortunately, Romo's poor leadership led to an ugly loss to the Chicago Bears.

(Are you setting yourself up to fail?)

So what are some sports takeaways you can use to boost your mental game? Let's learn from these pro mistakes.

Have a Reason to Play

The European Ryder Cup team dedicated their performance to the late Seve Ballesteros, the Spanish pro who, in 1997, captained Europe to victory. Ballesteros died last May after a long battle with cancer. Giving tribute to his memory gave Europe a unique purpose, making golf more of a team sport than an individual competition. When team members share a common purpose, their will can be unstoppable. Without such a purpose, many players lack the drive to succeed. (What is your motivation?)

Finish Strong

Encouragement from teammates to finish strong seemed to disappear from the American team at the Ryder Cup, and it also happened to the Cowboys on Monday night after Romo threw several interceptions. It's not enough to see the finish line. To win, you have to cross it. The game is not over after a few mistakes, but even top professional players sometimes allow themselves to fall victim to negativity, causing them to not rise up for the team and fight to the finish.

Manage Mistakes

In sports and life, we all make mistakes, from missed putts to dropped footballs. Errors set back even professional players; however, those who pull victory out of the jaws of defeat are the ones who achieve greatness. A key mental skill is to forget your mistakes and focus on desired results. It makes for great sports entertainment while proving the value of mental training for all athletes.

Todd Stofka
- Since 2002, Todd Stofka has helped Olympians as well as professional, college and high school athletes jack up their game with The Stofka Method. He...
Todd Stofka
- Since 2002, Todd Stofka has helped Olympians as well as professional, college and high school athletes jack up their game with The Stofka Method. He...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Visualize Yourself Winning, and You're Halfway There

Don't Take Your Headphones to the Gym

4 Ways to Turn Mental Toughness Into Physical Toughness

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Summer Mental Training Plan for Wrestling

A Coach Describes What It

3 Ways to Develop Your Football Warrior Mentality

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

6 Ideas to Build a More Cohesive Team

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

4 Tips for Building Confidence

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

Prepare for Any Situation With Mental Sunscreen

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

Are You Playing With a Winning Mindset?

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

Make Goals, Not Deals

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

How Mentally Tough Are You?

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

So You Didn't Make the Team? 5 Ways to Move On

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Tips to Be a Better Leader

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit