It happens to everyone. You go into a tournament well prepared and think you might strike gold, but then something happens to throw you off. You get off to a bad start and never recover, leaving you feeling worthless and defeated.
Thankfully, it's not the end of the world. And you can still bounce back in the next event. Here are four tips to recover from a disastrous tournament.
1. Take time to recover
Take a little time away from the chessboard. Many tournaments are long and stressful, completely draining you of all energy. A few days off, might just be what you need to recover.
2. Figure out what went wrong
Reviewing the games with your coach can be hugely beneficial. Don't get emotional over your result. Instead, attempt to dissect your mistakes and identify the key blunders you made. Although identifying your mistakes can be painful, it is essential for improvement.
3. Don't worry about rating
Ratings fluctuate. If you have a rating goal, a bad result can make it seem like you’re getting further away from it. It doesn't have to be true. If you have the right mindset, learning from your mistakes will help your rating in the long-term.
4. Don’t isolate yourself
It’s common to see chess players withdraw after a tough defeat. Don’t let your losses affect your self-worth.
Other chess players are the only ones who fully understand each other’s ups and downs, that's why it's important to not cut yourself off from the social aspect of chess. Find comfort in those around you. Plus, your peers may offer insights into your games that you haven't notice yourself.
5. Don't play for anyone but yourself
Don't let the pressure get to you. Forget that your friends may be checking in on your game, or that your colleagues will inquire about how you played this weekend. You cannot let anything but the position in front of you affect your game.
Chess isn't played to please others. If you’re not playing for the love of the game, you’re playing for the wrong reasons.