5 Things to Consider When Reviewing Your Competition Performance

1. How well did you prepare

Hindsight is 20/20. Most of the time, we can't tell how well we have prepared for a competition until we have gone through the preparation and competition process. But with experience, you can get better at recognizing what works and what doesn't and become more self aware of when you are on or off the right track. Taking actual steps towards becoming more self aware is extremely important. If you don't already have a sport journal, GET ONE. Recording progress, workouts, results, thoughts, and feelings are so important in the steps of becoming more self aware. You'll find out how beneficial it is to have a written record of how and what you did to prepare.

Record in your journal:

What were you doing a few days out, weeks out, months out?

How does this differ from past competitions?

What did your taper for competition look like?

What did you do the day before competition?

What did you do on the day of competition?

What did you eat/drink on competition day or leading up to competition day?

How well did you warm-up and cool down?

Where was your focus? 

2. What does your support system look like

It is important to surround yourself with people who support the way you train, and can help you reach your goals. A support system can consist of many people, or just a few. Communication is key when it comes to a coach/athlete relationship, as well as athlete/family relationships. If your needs are not being heard by coaches or family, it is time to address those needs. Especially if it is negatively affecting your competition preparation and results. Make sure you use the best possible way to communicate your needs to those within your support system. As you become more self-aware, those around you will be able to support that growth as you evolve as an athlete. Do you have a coach who is refusing to recognize those needs? If different forms of civil conversation is not reaching them, it could be time to think about if they are helping or harming your future growth as an athlete.

Record in your journal:

Who is my support system?

What kinds of things do I need to feel supported? 

3. Sports psychology: what did you notice during the competition

When you analyze your performance, it is important to first be nice to yourself. Don't fall into the trap of beating yourself up because you made mistakes you thought could be avoided. You are doing something brave, something most people do not dare do by accepting the challenge of being a competitor. You have honored your competition by showing up and doing your best. Let's get the self pity and self ridicule out of the way so we can really make improvements. PHEW. Remember, thoughts are just thoughts. They don't predict the future and they don't predict how well you will perform.

Record in your journal:

Can you remember emotions that came up?

Thoughts you noticed when you went to bed, when you woke up, before you competed, during, and after?

How often were you able to let thoughts of self doubt come, go, and bring your focus back to the moment you were in?

How often did you get hooked on a thought? What were those thoughts?

What can you do to bring your focus back to the present moment starting from the night before, until competition ends?

4. Where did you make improvements

Your improvements are important because it helps an athlete move past the pity party of focusing on the negatives. This is about changing the narrative, and becoming consistent with your emotions. Learning how to handle adversities, as well as exciting victories, are important so that you can consistently review yourself in the same manner. 

Record in your journal:

 What is your takeaway from this competition? 

Were you able to recognize a mistake and redirect your focus? 

Three things you can improved on, however small

5. How consistent were you?

Do not mistake this question for, "how perfect were you?" Consistency is about creating an environment around your training and competition prep that becomes more accurate. To learn how to have a rhythm that you utilize to help you prepare. Consistency doesn't refer to perfection in the slightest, instead, it refers to being organized and being flexible. Its actual synonyms are "limberness" and "hardness." Can one word encompass more awesomeness than that? Its about being tough with what you need to do, but also being okay with change. Creating consistency comes with experience, and learning about what you should and shouldn't compromise in order to be ready for a tournament becomes key. 

Record in your journal:

Where I am I consistent?

Where am I not being consistent that is preventing me from being properly prepared for competition?

My ideal competition prep routine

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