How to deal you deal with disappointment? I have had a lot of disappointment through my rugby career. I have missed out on representative squads, been left on the bench, been injured, lost finals and been dropped. These are situations that many athletes deal with. So how do you bounce back? I think there are four steps.
1. Seek feedback. Go talk to the coaches, selectors or other senior players. Prepare yourself to hear things you are not going to like. If they are honest, they will tell you your strengths and weaknesses and the truth can hurt. Listen and absorb. It is hard, but necessary. Try to ask questions if you don’t understand what they are saying because at the end of this conversation you should have a clear view of the reasons you have suffered a disappointment.
2. Create a plan. Can you improve your weaknesses? Do you need to help your team understand the game plan? Develop a plan that can help overcome your disappointment. The plan should have goals, timelines and metrics for success. After you create your plan, share it with someone who can help you succeed by holding you accountable.
3. Execute your plan. Start. Procrastination doesn’t change anything, remember a plan can be modified if your situation changes or it turns out the plan doesn’t achieve the goals you outlined. However, you won’t know this until you START.
4. Review your progress. During and after your plan, review your progress. To do this effectively, you will need to keep a detailed journal. This will help show where you have improved, what you have done well and what areas still need work. Get input from the person you shared your plan with; sometimes they have a different perception that is enlightening.
This is a constant cycle for good players. They are always seeking feedback, developing plans with goals, executing and reviewing them. This is what it takes to continually get better.