Tips to Beat the Post-Game Blues

February 17, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

Post-Game Blues

Imagine the emotional high from sinking a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer in a state basketball tournament or hitting a walk-off home run against a conference rival. Next, picture a dejected basketball center seated at the end of the bench who just missed a crucial game-tying free throw, or a wide receiver who dropped a potential touchdown pass that ended the season.

The ability to "rebound" from such frustrating and depressing sports moments requires inner strength. (Read more on STACK's Mental Toughness page.)

The off-season is no longer just for building physical strength and improving general conditioning. It's the ideal time to focus on mental toughness and to learn how to rebound from adversity. Below are three tips to help you improve your outlook after a setback so you can confidently bounce back from being the "goat" to becoming the always-reliable "go-to" player. (See also Are You "Mr. Crunch Time" or a Post-Season Goat?)

Turn negatives to positives

Devote extra time in the off-season to overcome any weaknesses that led to those disappointing performances—for example, a kicker with a low field goal percentage from more than 40 yards, or a basketball center who struggles from the free throw line. Spending extra time to correct areas of weakness breeds the confidence to turn a former flaw into a positive skill for next season. (Check out How to Perform Better in Crunch Time.)

Don't surrender to failure

Head to the library and research books on successful athletes and coaches. You will be pleasantly surprised to find that your sports idols had to overcome fumbles or dropped passes or turnovers before reaching the top. In other words, discouragement did not impede their progress, nor should it derail yours.

After a lousy game, head to the weight room

Down and out from making a costly error or striking out with the bases loaded? Weight training can be an "uplifting" experience, similar to a brisk walk or jog, which generates mood-boosting chemicals in the body called endorphins. Use exercise as a means to help build up your confidence and your body.

(See also Foods To Boost Your Mood After Tough Games.)

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier, CSCS, is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist, and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as Associate Health and...
Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 24,784,290
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 6,012,696
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 41,595,842

Featured Videos

Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Kevin Love's In-Season Basketball Workout Views: 1,018,026
A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce A Day in the Life With Kansas City Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce Views: 15,983
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 70,834
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,362,770
Paul Rabil's Box Jumps Paul Rabil's Box Jumps
Views: 851,480
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,577,381
Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles Dribbling Drills for Tighter Handles
Views: 4,333,163
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,499,164

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Many coaches believe in the concept of "You play how you practice", but many don't actually implement this with their athletes. Stress exposure training...

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

How Nik Wallenda Prepared to Walk Across the Grand Canyon

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

A Coach Describes What Its Like to Cut Players

A Coach Describes What It

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

5 Steps to Changing a Bad Habit

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

How Mentally Tough Are You?

How Mentally Tough Are You?

Tips to Be a Better Leader

Tips to Be a Better Leader

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

4 Obstacles to Better Goal Setting

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

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

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

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

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

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

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

4 Tips for Building Confidence

4 Tips for Building Confidence

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

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

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

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

YardBarker