Mistakes occur during a learning process of a new skill, technique, or sport. Making a mistake can assist the athlete to learn to prevent this from occurring again in the future. Practice is a time for learning new skills, then making mistakes to perfect the skill. During competitions, mistakes occur that provide teams and individual athletes with the opportunity to learn from a loss to gain success for the future.
How we Learn from Mistakes
As an athlete, you learn a new sports-related skill then practice this skill over and over again until you gain confidence with using it in a competition. While practicing, you will make a mistake then try it again. When you make the mistake, you make a mental note to avoid this action in the future so that you do not create the same undesired outcome with the skill. Sometimes it just takes more practice with certain sports equipment to get used to it.
Example: Imagine you are getting a drink of water from a water fountain. After pressing the button to engage the water to start to flow, you lean over to take a sip. The powerful spray of the water shoots at your face. You inadvertently get water all over your face, hair, and shirt. You take a mental note that the next time you drink out of that fountain, you will stand a little further back. This was a learning process of how to drink from that specific water fountain. This concept can relate directly to sports. Certain types of baseball bats may take a stronger or softer swing for hitting the ball just right than other types, such as the difference between using an aluminum baseball bat versus a wood bat.
Mistakes When Playing Sports
In a basketball game you can either choose to pass the ball to a fellow teammate or try to shoot the ball yourself into the basket. If you attempt to shoot it yourself from an area far from the basket, you have a higher probability of missing the shot. When you miss and realize that you lost the game by 1 point, you will most likely feel bad about choosing not to pass the ball to a teammate who was closer to the basket and had a higher chance of making the shot. Next time you are in a similar situation, you will be sure to check your teammates’ positions and pass to one of them if they are open and closer to the net.
Supporting Athletes with Mistakes
At CAL Sports, we teach that making mistakes is part of the learning process as you gain more skills in your sport of choice. This helps you improve as an athlete as you learn from each mistake and not continuously repeat the same error. Not only can athletes learn from their own mistakes, but they can also learn from watching their teammates make mistakes. Discussing mistakes with the team creates an environment of understanding and acceptance as the whole team learns from individual and team-related mistakes.
CAL Sports Academy Creates a Supportive Learning Environment
Making mistakes when playing sports is part of the continuous learning process of being an athlete. Practicing and making mistakes propels athletes to greater heights with improvement by avoiding the same mistake in the future. Parents, we encourage you to support your athletes when they make mistakes and encourage them to use the experience as a learning process. This will provide the youth athlete with greater understanding of how to improve their abilities in the sport and reach for greater heights and success in their sport as well as in life’s many challenges.