What do you like to do to cheer yourself up after a lost race or tough practice?
During the summer and fall my practices were from 5-7:30am so if I wasn’t immediately working or coaching afterwards I’d just go home and sleep for a few hours. If I had a particularly shitty practice, I nearly always felt better once I slept it off. If it was a really shitty practice, I’d call my dad and talk to him. He and I are very similarly minded when it comes to sports and stuff like that, so most of the time he knows where I’m coming from when I get frustrated. Another thing that helped me get some aggression out was to just turn the radio up and listen to the music on the drive home. That’s my go to stress reliever for practically anything.
Later on in the day when I wasn’t as irritated I’d reflect on why practice was so tough that day. Were the rowers not responding to what I was saying or was I being unnecessarily hard on myself? Were my coach and I not communicating properly or was I not communicating well with the crew? After asking myself those questions I could usually figure out why practice didn’t go well and determine what I needed to do differently the next day to ensure that whatever happened that day doesn’t happen again. It doesn’t always work out that way – sometimes practice just sucks – but most of the time it did for me.
In the long run, wallowing over a bad practice or race isn’t worth it. Is that going to cheer you up? Probably not. What will cheer you up is figuring out how to make sure whatever happened doesn’t happen again and then going out the next day and busting your ass to ensure that you have a good practice or that your next race is your best one yet. It seems cliche (trust me, I know this) but using those experiences as a learning opportunity ultimately makes you a lot happier than just focusing on how shitty your day ended up being.