1. Avoid becoming too much of a fan instead of a player. Don’t look up other teams’ stats or rankings right before you play them. Also, at tournaments don’t watch the first place competitors too much either. All of those things will make you unnecessarily nervous and will distract you from your goals for that day.
  2. Try not to think of winning as the only acceptable outcome of the game or match. Winning is not everything! Let’s say you’re playing a team and you finally got your first ace or took a game from an opponent for the first time but you didn’t win the match. Does that mean your milestones and achievements in that game don’t matter? No, you still played well and improved your performance despite the outcome of the game.
  3. The next thing to avoid is blaming the ref for a call you don’t agree with. Sometimes it is difficult to make the correct call in a short amount of time, so you can’t overreact in those situations. Besides, you can’t control what the ref decides to call, but you can control your reaction and your attitude towards them. Also, you shouldn’t put so much emphasis on one point anyway. If you do lose a point because of the ref’s call, just focus on getting the next point
  4. Also avoid thinking about just not losing. approaching a game with the mindset: “We better not lose” is just as bad as thinking: “We better win this game.” It puts too much pressure on you. Instead, just focus on doing the skills and techniques you need to do. If you focus on the small things, you’ll get the outcome you want.
  5. The fifth thing to avoid is not controlling the things that you actually can control. There’s a lot of stuff that you can’t control like: who your coach is, who your teammates are, what injuries might happen, how much practice time you get before a game, etc. But, there are things you can control like how much sleep you get before a game, what you eat on game days, the attitude you have for practice and games, the effort you put into practice and games, the pre-game routine that you do, etc. It is in your best interest to control the things you can and don’t stress about the things that you can’t. 
  6. The sixth thing to avoid is giving good opponents too much respect. If you approach a game with the attitude that the other team is better than you, then it will just undermine your abilities. Instead, focus on executing your skills, working together with your teammates and coach, and maintaining a positive attitude and you might beat that team – or at least put up a good fight. Don’t forget that being the “underdog” is not a bad thing and use it to your advantage by catching the other team off guard.
  7. The final thing to avoid is anything that is not going to help you be a better athlete, student, and person. This includes substances and alcohol. However, it also refers to things like avoiding eating three brownies before a game or chugging a Mountain Dew before practice. Just be smart about what you put in and around your body. Don’t let these things get in the way of you and your goals.


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