Losing in anything can be difficult to deal with, but this is especially true for youth basketball players who haven’t faced defeat too often in life. It’ll be easy to put your head down, pout over the results, and allow it to affect your upcoming games.
Bouncing back after a loss will normally take a personalized routine since everyone handles things differently. Once you find that routine, you’ll utilize it just like your free throw routine. When you suffer defeat, you’ll do the same thing every time in an attempt to bounce back.
While everyone’s routine will differ, it can be broken down into three main stages — figuring out why you lost, getting back in the gym, and moving forward into the next game. When you can find a way to overcome these three things, you can effectively look forward to your next opponent whether you win or lose.
Why Did You Lose?
First off, you’ll want to figure out why you lost so you can find a way to strengthen your weaknesses. If you were shooting poorly all game and couldn’t get a shot to go in, maybe you should focus a little more time on your shooting form, technique, and drills.
Watching tape will always be the quickest way to detect your mistakes and find a solution for them. You’ll get to see in real time and in slow-motion what went wrong and what you need to do as a player or team to correct it.
Figuring out why you lost will have to take some humility, responsibility, and accountability, but it’s always the first step in getting better. After all, improving your game is at the top of your list, isn’t it?
Get Back in the Gym!
Once you’ve gotten an opportunity to see what you did wrong in your previous game, it’s time to get back in the gym and work on your weaknesses. Getting back into the gym will be the fun part, whereas watching game film is often avoided. Both are just as important as the other, so don’t skip either one.
When back in the gym, do some specific and technical drills either by yourself or as a team. Communication is essential when trying to bounce back after a loss and a lot of time will be the reason you lost. If you want to turn that loss into a win next time out, make sure everyone is on the same page about what they need to improve on once back in the gym.
Don’t be afraid to hold others accountable if you don’t feel they’re giving enough effort in practice. Effort is the only way you’ll see future results after a loss.
Keep Your Head Up & Stay Confident
Lastly, you’ll need to finally let your last game go and move on to the next. By keeping your head up high and staying confident, those mistakes you made in your previous game won’t follow you.
You’ve done what you needed to do during the film sessions, you’ve gotten in the gym and worked it out, and now you’re ready to prepare for your next game. Now, go out there and show them that last game was just a fluke.