Stuck in My Head, By Kaitlin Weiss, 4th Grade

When I am playing basketball and the ref makes a bad call or I miss a basket and make a bad pass, my biggest problem in sports takes place.  I get stuck in my head and start to discourage myself.  Some people can stay calm, relaxed and brush it off but I can’t do that.  I get nervous and freak myself out!  But when I do that, I play worse.

For example, when the time is ticking down and I make a bad play.  I get stuck in my head just at this point!  Getting stuck in my head means playing badly and worrying too much about what others think of how I am playing.  I mentally start to break down during the game.  I even look to blame other kids for the bad play and then my head is out of the game, which makes it even worse.  I try to quit but then my coach tells me to get back in the game.  It is a “when it rains it pours” moment for me!

I need to get rid of the pressure to get out of my head, so I try instead to focus on the good things I have done in the game.  I pretend the score is zero to zero and block out noise and distractions so I can focus on playing basketball.    Working on this has become a goal.  It is not perfect yet, but every time I think it works since when I try this, I stay more on the court and less in my head!

If this has happened to you, and you feel different because you can’t get out of your head too, my coach game me a great strategy.  Forget the mistake, and just make the correction next time.  It can work and you too can finally enjoy playing a game!

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