It is normal for an athlete to feel anger or frustration when they fail to meet their expectations.
The handling of these emotions during competition or practice can determine the success
or failure of that athlete.
When missing the shot or a block or an opportunity it is normal to experience a moment of disappointment and to adjust. The athlete who becomes unwound and overreacts with feelings of frustration or anger at the mishap is overreacting. This overreaction can causes overload in the athlete which causes a loss of focus. Thinking about the mistake or error keeps the athlete in the past and at a disadvantage as they miss opportunities due to being in their own head and not in the game.
To focus and rebalance is simple. It includes breathing and anchoring back to calm.
During mental preparation the athlete is asked to relax and imagine themselves in a place of calm. This place has characteristics that will involve all the senses. It can become a place of calm, a place of power, a place of beauty and a place to regenerate. The athlete is taught to anchor back, if only for a moment, to this feeling or this place, when things heat up in life or during competitions.
Anchoring might be a rubbing together of the thumb and the index finger while taking in one or two conscious breaths of air. Anchoring can be a word or even a touch on a part of the body.
Once anchored and calmer, the athlete has a moment to pause and engage both sides of their brain.
Once the emotional side of the brain and the intellectual side of the brain are engaged together,
a calmer and more intelligent response can follow.
Having emotions and passions is what makes an athlete and is a key ingredient to their success.
Having the tools to rebalance when a disruption to that success occurs is important to becoming an emotionally developed athlete.
(Yes, that is Sandy Koufax in the photo, 1965)