Every game of skill involves the risk for the player to miss the ball; not connect properly when striking; or pass the ball to the opponent. There is threat of defeat in every game. Nevertheless, the game would no longer be enjoyable if it were perfect. In fact, the game would be no longer pleasing, because the well trained or skilled, would win effortlessly.
A result known in advance; with no possibility of error or surprise, is incompatible with playing games. Constant and unpredictable definitions of the situation are necessary. I don't think we would enjoy sport the way we do if we knew we were going to be "perfect". The game consists of trying to find solutions or respond to mistakes. Therefore, we cannot give up when a mistake happens. The best players are those who respond instantly in a positive way and only allow for mistakes to encourage intenser effort and learning. We have to be aware that mistakes are the only thing that is guaranteed in sport and we have to respond accordingly.
The most important thing is for an athlete's attitude to remain the same. Positive. There are many aspects of the game that cannot be controlled, however, we have power within ourselves to either change our attitudes or to maintain it. Usually it is easier to quickly change our attitude from positive to negative when things go from right to wrong, therefore, it is extremely important that no matter if we are winning or losing, we continue to have a positive attitude. Keep a positive attitude regardless.
(Salen & Zimmerman, 2005)
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.