I was just listening to a panel discussion about effective behaviors of people who coach sports. Not having been a sports kids or even a sports mom, it was really interesting to me. Since I hadn’t lived it, much of what was squirreled away in my brain was the stereotypes portrayed in TV and movies.
The panelists said a whole bunch of interesting things about discipline and motivation.I was most struck by one man’s advice to teach kids (people) to have a mistake strategy or mistake ritual.
After a player makes a mistake, if they have no prepared strategy for moving beyond the mistake, it’s human nature to focus on the mistake and beat yourself up. This goes for not only the person who made the mistake but also for the teammates. Being agitated about the error takes you out of the current moment. So the player who is angry and upset about a mistake is distracted and not playing well in the minutes of the game following the error.
The coach taught the kids to “flush it.” As in, what do you do with something that stinks? You flush it away and forget about it. He coaches 11 year olds. I can just imagine a bunch of 11 year olds applying this ritual to a mistake on the field: squatting, making farting noises, etc. And then moving on to focus on the next play.
It made me think about how true this is for our many mistakes in everyday life. The sooner we “flush it,” the sooner we can move on and do our best in the next challenge of the day.
Smile. Be happy. And flush it.