During the 2019-2020 NBA season, the LA Lakers had a pretty consistent away game streak going, by winning 13 straight games away from home. In sports, away games can be more challenging because teams are not playing in their comfort zone. They’re playing in a new setting and oftentimes tired because traveling has impacted their schedule. To add to the pressure, they also enter the game knowing that over half of the audience is there to watch them fail.

When I thought about this, it reminded me of life in general and how we can be winning consistently in what we routinely do, (which would be considered a home game) but when we are given new problems or placed in a new environment, the game becomes so much harder to navigate. Some of us may even struggle in our regular routine, and adding new things to the plate can seem almost unbearable. So what is one to do to help improve their performance? There are several things athletes do that could also be applied to our day-to-day lives. First, there is a sense of confidence that should be displayed in the face of adversity and FYI it’s not always going to be real! It’s a posture of positivity & taking a stance of boldness against what is about to come your way, regardless of the odds against you. Hold your head high and look unbeatable (which may sound surprising to some, but if you hold on to it long enough you will begin to actually believe it).

“Dwelling on mistakes, will enhance them if there is not some type of ritual/method for letting go of mistakes.”

Another thing that is helpful in improving performance is establishing a method of dealing with mistakes. If a player is making mistakes, and they begin to miss opportunities resulting from already being under pressure then dwelling on them will enhance shortcomings if they don’t have some type of ritual/method for letting go of mistakes. Perhaps a memory verse, a word, or quote that helps you to accept, move on and get back to focusing on the present moment. Playing at home can be as challenging as playing away, but how we approach the game is what separates the pedigree of the player.

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