How Top Performers Deal with Bad Training Days

Not every training day is a brilliant one. Not every tournament is your best. Not every performance shows all that you’re capable of. Sometimes things are just plain crappy. You can’t get in the zone, you’re in your head, you feel sloppy, flat footed, slow, out of shape, etc, etc.

Top performers are not devoid of bad days, they just have good strategies to deal with them. Top performers:

Practice in the present. They don’t waste time comparing this training day to the last one. If the strategy doesn’t suit the day, they change it.

Work on the Bottom When They Can’t Work on the Top. When a top performer is stuck working on an advanced technique they switch to working on a fundamental one.

Focus on Facts Not Judgments. Your performance in a given moment is simply a collection of data points. The only thing that defines good and bad is a judgment in your mind. There is generally little value in value judgment.

Focus on the Long Game. It’s not the point that matters, it’s the match.

Overall, top performers are good at adapting and resetting. They don’t get derailed by bad days. In the 10,000 hours of mastery, every hour counts. Your bad hour has a place as much as the good. It’s still taking you one step closer. Put it behind you and get on to the next bad hour.

How do you handle bad or disappointing days? I’d love to learn more and hear about your tools for dealing with adversity. Please share and leave a comment!


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