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It’s time to fail better! Here are 4 ways the help your athletes be more resilient

We know we can learn from failure, so fail better!

In sports we always hear you can learn more from failure than you can from winning.

Sports psychology researcher Ashley Kuchar decided to put that saying to the test. In fact, she has come up with a formula to help athletes fail better. Her work offers big takeaways for the sports parent, too.

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4 Ways to Fail Better

Ashley provided some insight on how to help the athletes you know and love, become more resilient. She says mistakes, challenges, and other setbacks are a normal part of sports, but it is our response to the challenges that have the biggest impact on us.

She designed a program called R.E.S.E.T. (Resilience and Enhancement in Sport, Exercise, & Training). She tested its effectiveness with 250 NCAA student-athletes. She found that athletes who participated in the program improved their coping skills and their sport performance.

Ashley encourages athletes to treat themselves like they would treat a close teammate/friend after a mistake. People are typically much harder on themselves than they are on others. When we have that separation, we see the situation more clearly and can give ourselves better advice.

After a setback, she encourage athletes to take a resilient reset. The reset has four main parts:


Acknowledgement of the mistake and getting a clear perspective (not exaggerating or avoiding). Say things to yourself like, “I made a mistake. This is hard.”


Realizing that mistakes are a part of life and something we can learn from. She tells athletes to talk to a teammate who can relate.


Ask yourself what do you need to feel confident, motivated, or supported? Write down your strengths.

Productive Feedback

Ask yourself what can you do to improve or grow? Say things like “Take a deep breath when frustrated”

Even if you’re not an athlete, Ashley says setbacks are a normal part of life we all need to learn how to reset.

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