How to ‘RESET’ Your Mind in Under 10 Seconds

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“Take a deep breath, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”
— Frank Sinatra

It’s a big game. You’re playing well. Then it happens. You make a mistake. You lose focus. Your muscles tighten and your performance dips. Have you ever been there or felt like this? It can be so frustrating!

Since everyone, including your favorite pro player, will make a mistake (usually a lot more than one!) in every game, you need a plan for how to respond well. Most of us are told to “shake it off” and “play through it” when we get frustrated or discouraged, but few of us are taught how to do this.

There’s great news! There are lots of tools to help you quickly steer your mind away from the negative and reset to focus in the present moment. 

One of these tools is a reset routine. A reset routine is a systematic process to help you “let it go” after a mistake and keep your head in the game.


These are the four essential ingredients for your reset:

  1. Make it short & sweet: Takes between 5-10 seconds (so it can be used throughout the game)

  2. Breathe: Inhale (nose only) and then exhale  

  3. Utilize a tactile (touch) sensation

  4. Finish with an affirmation or activating word or phrase

How do these steps in the reset help? A deep breath in for 3-4 seconds and an exhale for 3-4 seconds helps clear your mind and release tension stored in your muscles. The tactile, or touch, sensation helps steer your focus to the present. The affirmation, or activating word or phrase, steers your mind to your purpose, ultimately increasing your motivation and confidence.

Here are a few examples of a reset:

  • Inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds. Then tap the side of your leg and say, “Next play. Next play.”

  • While you inhale for 4 seconds and then exhale for 4 seconds, use your finger to trace the emblem on your shorts. Then say, “Right here. Right now.”

  • Count as you inhale for 3 seconds, and count as you exhale for 3 seconds. Then tap the ground with your cleat two times and say, “Keep working.”

Remember, these are examples of a reset. Experiment and try different versions of breathing, tactile / touch sensations, and affirmations. The more you personalize your reset and make it yours, the more you’ll use it and benefit from it.

Resets can absolutely be used off the pitch as you encounter the stressors of school, work, and life in general.


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