Reset Routines for Mistakes: By Dr. Rachel Hoeft


Welcome to Spring, West-Mont families! This week I’ve got a quick newsletter to help your child create a Reset Routine to use after they’ve made a mistake. Being able to move past a mistake and focus on the moving play can make a significant difference between winning and getting left in the dust. 

Step 1 is to ALWAYS acknowledge that a mistake was made. When we’re afraid of how mistakes will be received, we try to sweep them under the rug and end up in a downward spiral. By acknowledging what happened to ourselves and others, we take control of the situation.

Following this is a Reset Routine. The most effective Reset Routines involve 3 elements: Relaxation Technique, Positive Self-Talk, and Physical Reset.

Discuss these options with your athlete to figure out what works for them. Mix and match or create your own options. It’s always great to have multiple to choose from and apply based on the situation. Please remember every athlete is different and they may need to try out a few before they find the best fit. 

Relaxation Technique

Minimize anger or frustration

Positive Self-Talk

Encouragement & Guidance

Physical Reset

Lock back in

  • 2 deep breaths

  • Box breathing (Inhale, hold, exhale, hold. All for 4 counts)

  • Count down from 10

  • Visualize what a successful attempt looks like

  • “Try it again”

  • “Win the next play”

  • * ”Park It”

  • “Next time, do ____.” (Instead of saying what NOT to do.)

  • “Leave it behind”

  • Imagine a reset circle on wrist and press it

  • Snap fingers

  • Clap hands

  • Tap leg

  • Adjust clothes, gear, hair

  • Flush down the last play

*”Park it” Phrase: Imagine parking your car when getting groceries. You take note of where the car is, then forget about it and focus on what you need to buy. Only when you leave the store do you start thinking about where you parked. Picture the car as your mistake and grocery shopping as the game. If you’re stuck thinking about the car, you won’t give all your attention to the items on your list and might grab the wrong things or miss some items! Next time you make a mistake, “Park it” and know you can give attention to your mistake at a later time during a break or after the game. For now, focus on the next play!

Be sure you know what your child’s routine involves so you can remind them if you see they are struggling. It can be difficult to remember the steps in the beginning of applying the reset routine, so being able to depend on you may make a big difference in their ability to move past mistakes. 

As always, please reach out if you’d like custom support. Have a great month of April!


Dr. Rachel Hoeft

Official Mental Performance Coach for West-Mont United