PCA Resource zone

Developing a Mistake Ritual

Mistakes in sports are inevitable. Athletes at all levels make mistakes, from youth to professional players. What makes a good competitor stand out is how they deal with and learn from those mistakes.

A mistake ritual is a physical gesture athletes can use in the moment to overcome a mistake and re-focus on the game. Doing so can also reduce the fear of making mistakes, allowing athletes to play more freely. Establishing a mistake ritual ahead of time can help make it second nature.

Use the space in the resource below to describe the mistake ritual you intend to use. It may be one that you create on your own or one that already exists, like:
Flush it – make a gesture of flushing a toilet
No Sweat – swipe two fingers across your forehead like flicking sweat from your brow
Brush it off – brush the dust off your shoulders

Then identify at least one teammate or coach with whom you will share your new mindset about mistakes so they can support your effort throughout the season to recover quickly from mistakes. You can describe your mistake ritual to them so they can reinforce it from the field or sideline after you’ve made a mistake.