Sport Psychology: Mental Trick to Avoid Letdowns When You Have a Lead

Sport Psychology: Mental Trick to Avoid Letdowns When You Have a Lead

Dick Moss, Editor

Sport Psychology: Mental Trick to Avoid Letdowns When You Have a Lead
It's a common phenomenon: your players get a lead, then become complacent, play defensively and lose their aggressiveness. This often allows the opponent to chip away at the lead, gain the momentum and win the game.

How do you keep your players hungry even when they've achieved a large lead? Try this mental trick.

Reverse the Score

Tell your athletes they should imagine the score is reversed. For example, if they're leading 4 to 1 (i.e. in baseball, soccer, hockey, etc) tell them to play as if the score was 1 to 4and they are the team that's behind by three points—to play, in fact, the way their opponents will have to play in order to catch up.

This attitude should keep them loose and aggressive and help to maintain the style of play that got them the lead in the first place.

Reference: Editors, “Down with letdowns.” Tennis, November 1992. 

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