ASAP Training Step 2
Once we learn to recognize disappointment in real time, we get the opportunity to analyze our reaction. Each of us have an arsenal of responses to disappointment: anger, humor, sadness, shutting down, lashing out.
Noticing how you react is the first step in learning new, healthier ways to respond. This is the key to managing your mental game.
We all have a dominant defensive personality that we go to when failure or difficulty emerges.
Sometimes we use different personalities for different situations. Acknowledging how you react to every type of failure is the key to building a stronger defense.
The goal in identifying our defensive personality is to create awareness and to establish a distance between WHO we are and WHAT we do when we fail.
Often this defensive personality hinders our ability to recover. Once we understand that we have the ability to choose our reactions, the burden of failure is lighter and we can shift back to our “baseline” personality and make strides on the road to recovery.
Here are the three defensive personalities we work with in Defense Club:
You just want to get out of there.
Whether you make a mistake in a game or fail a test, your gut reaction is to get as far away from the problem as possible.
You are embarrassed and there is nothing anyone can say or do to make you feel anything different.
In situations where you can’t leave, you choose silence or avoidance as your way out. Your palms sweat and you just wish you could disappear. Changing the subject helps. Anything to keep from confronting your failure head on.
You’re the Escape Artist.
When things aren’t going as planned, you escape – out of the reach of coaches, parents, teammates. Whether it’s physically removing yourself or mentally disappearing from all that’s around you, you create a solitary space. Nothing can reach you here – the bad stuff is gone… but so is the good.
Does this sound like you? Maybe in some situations you’d rather just get lost? If you can see yourself in this description, you might have just found your Defensive Personality.
The most important step in building your Defense is to become aware that we ALL have a Defensive Personality. How we are doesn’t have to have a negative or positive connotation, but our reaction to failure (the personality we take on in our Defense) directly correlates to the ways we are able to practice recovery techniques- if we figure out what our natural tendencies are in failure, we can better anticipate a course for action and moving forward.
So you’re an escape artist? Awesome. Me too and I’ve got you.
You’re the most explosive personality. Everyone will know when you’re mad. Even when you can control yourself from throwing something or yelling at someone, you stew in rage and your face can’t hide how upset you are on the inside.
You’re mad at the situation, someone who caused you to mess up. You’re mad at yourself. You’re just furious.
You’re a Rage Machine.
Time to learn how to harness this energy before you hit one of your friends in the face just because you made an error.
When things aren’t working, you don’t get embarrassed, you get mad: mad at others, but mostly mad at yourself. You charge into reps, practice, and games trying to force the fix.You stubbornly apply pressure to the problem only to get more and more frustrated and move farther and farther from better than you were in the first place.
You wear your emotions on your sleeve, but a lot of times you hide the ones that matter most: your vulnerability and how much you truly care about achieving in front of others. Part of your personal process in developing your defenses will be connecting back to the real reason that you FEEL so deeply. Getting back to the root of your rage will be your source of power and strength as we sort through all of this together.
It’s time to learn how to harness this energy before you it becomes too physical or too intense. We’ll help you.
You’re the “Yes” Girl:
When coaches give you feedback or corrections you nod and smile, but a lot of times you aren’t listening to what they are saying.
You don’t want to bring more attention to yourself than necessary because you are normally good at everything you try. You may be known as a perfectionist and even though “everyone makes mistakes,” you are usually not in that category.
You listen to all the feedback saying “yes” to every correction, but you’re not able to pull yourself out of a slump. You wait for the right direction, the magic fix you’ve been hoping for. Meanwhile, you get even harder on yourself for not improving despite all of the coaching and practice.
If you’re a “Yes” Girl you sail past the moment of your initial failure to avoid feeling uncomfortable yourself or making others feel uncomfortable because you know they can’t possibly help you solve such a deep issue in that moment. By moving so quickly over what is hurting you, there’s no way to stop and understand or solve what you’re going through.
To avoid the initial discomfort you push away and, in turn, you push dealing with your failure to another day: someday. Using this tactic can work for the little failures, but once things start building up, if our only tactic is to keep pushing and to keep going…we have no tools to finally face all that has developed while we were nodding our way through failure.
Your greatest weapon to combat these natural habits is to create a check-in with yourself. Maybe it’s every day, every week, or once a month. The point is that you are forcing yourself to STOP. Similar to the Escape Artist, your Defensive Personality is trying to protect you from failure by not facing it, but now that we are aware that failures don’t just “go away,” check-ins will be a great thing to implement in order for you to get back on track.
It is extremely helpful to notice the way we respond to failure – we can turn into different people with different personalities.