If you’re looking to reach your potential, self-analysis is one of the best ways to make progress in your development. It’s important to reflect following each game in order to make yourself better for the next.
If you are your own worst critic and find that you often have a negative view of your play overall, the good news is that it’s pretty normal to do so. Even top players get caught up mentally replaying their mistakes.
That’s because many athletes struggle to accurately view their performance. After a game, we all have a mental bias towards thinking more about the mistakes we made rather than the positive contributions. Although it’s natural, it’s important to identify the thought processes that perpetuate this tendency to focus on the negatives, understand why it happens, and work to overcome it. A productive analysis of your performance requires an unemotional, and hopefully balanced, look at both the positives and negatives.
What’s most important is that your analysis of your play is constructive in order to help you improve for next time.
Our Techne Mental Training session on “Post-Game Evaluation” will educate you on the patterns of thinking that are common after a game, how you can create distance from your initial reaction to your performance, and how to analyze your play in a productive way.
Make your post-game self-analysis a habit, just like training regularly. It not only helps you become smarter about your own game, but smarter about the game in general.
Here are a few tips for how to analyze your performance in a useful way. Listening to the Techne Mental Training titled “Post-Game Evaluation” will enhance your efforts. The Mental Training session will help you to put into practice these tips on a consistent basis.
You can find the Post-Game Evaluation and other Mental Training Tracks in the Techne App. Post-Game Evaluation is under Mental Training > Essential Mindset. Use code BLOG for 10% off your first purchase. Start a free trial >>
- Have someone record the game on video: You don’t have to have professional video taken of you play; you can ask a parent or friend to record you, even on a phone. It doesn’t have to be a full game; parts of a game can be equally useful and potentially easier to work with. Watching your body language and some of your play is very helpful. It doesn’t have to be the full game.
- After the game, take some time to decompress: It is often best not to review your play while you’re still feeling the emotions of the result or performance. Find a time and a place, and if relevant a person to help give you feedback.
- Take notes: In writing, audio or video. We often forget our analysis in the moment we do it. And a continuing record of your analysis also helps you track your progress over time.
- Get specific: A game is made of many components. Break down the areas of your game. Technical and tactical, and movement both on and off the ball are among them. Also, consider if there are area’s of your game on which you are specifically focused in training–such as improvement in using both feet.
- Ask for help: In learning to self-evaluate, for example, ask your coach to explain to you with a review a video, whether of your own play or even other players.
- Frame your thinking to have a growth mindset: You are not your play. Each decision you make, good move you pull off, or mistake you make is something that can be improved upon, depending on how you view it and use it to work on. It’s helpful to equally assess both your mistakes and what you do well.
Once you’ve analyzed your performance, it’s time to move on. Get back to work in training and focus on how you can improve each and every day. Self-analysis will lead to even greater self-improvement. Results matter, but concentrate on your performance, and what you can control
Making your post-game self-analysis a habit. It not only makes you smarter about your own game, but the game in general.