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forget about the outcome

Henry Rollins photo by NNDB.com


10 ways to forget about the outcome

It is what is. It’s only uttered by people who experienced a setback or are just miserable. I’ve never heard it by someone holding up a trophy. Although, my goal is to have an athlete hold up a trophy and is so consumed by the process that they say, “hey, it is what it is.”  

A focus on winning doesn’t lead to winning, a focus on the process does.

However, our thoughts are often directed on the result and the outcome. When we do this, we welcome the ugly guest of FEAR into our game. 

Here are 10 ways to forget about the outcome.


1) Talk to a teammate or competitor- Get outside of our own head, we are behind enemy lines. Andrew Luck actually congratulates guys who sack him! 

2) TELL yourself what you’re going to do next!- Don’t ask yourself questions in competition, it only brings forth doubt. Instead, TELL yourself what you are going to do. We call this the “thinking out loud technique. It helps you to forget about the outcome by focusing so much on the process! 

3) Make the picture big- When I focus on going on vacation or that dinner date next week, I get happy.  One of my players loved eating so much, he would talk about where we were going afterward. Make the picture even bigger, we must know that it all works out because it has so far.

4) Make the picture small again- Focus just on making one play, the next one! Just THIS PLAY! 

5) Breathe- Take one deep breath and look for the opportunity. 

6) Rock, Paper, Scissors- If you’ve got a sport with some downtime, play a quick game! It reduces tension. check it out here…

7) Repeat your mantra- Hopefully, you have one… what refocuses you?

8) Think about your family- I get happy when I think about mine, but it also kicks in the drive.

9) Think about your behind– Not your butt, you know, your past successes. If all we had were good memories, how would you play? 

10) Act as if- Before I take the stage or work with a team, I act as if I am Henry Rollins or Bobby Jones. If we focus on how someone better than me would act it helps us forget about the outcome. 


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness-