March 11, 2024

Why Pros Don’t Get Upset Over Missed Shots (and Neither Should You!)

Why do successful individuals constantly refine their approach to smaller goals?
This question gets asked a lot, especially in the realm of high performance.

Have you ever seen Federer get overly upset if he misses a first serve or an ace?
Probably not. Even if he only lands 60% of first serves, that's considered a good result.

But how do we interpret that "failing" 40% of the time?

Here's the key difference between aspiring and experienced athletes: beginners often focus solely on the outcome (hitting the ace), while professionals like Federer prioritise feedback and adaptation.

By focusing on continuous adjustment, you gain control over your thoughts, emotions, and actions. This is why setting specific behavioural goals is crucial. These goals, like "focus on follow-through on my forehand," are completely within your control.

The most important takeaway? The process matters more than the final result. The perfect serve is the desired outcome, but effective execution stems from consistent behavioral adjustments.

Tennis players have minimal control over external factors like the crowd or the umpire. Letting these factors influence their behaviour undermines the goal.

The key is to prioritise adjustment. This allows individuals to focus on what they can control (their actions) instead of dwelling on what they desire (the perfect outcome).