No Parking!

Richard Hadley, Angling Trust Coaching Centre Manager and Lead Safeguarding Officer explains how to overcome failure using a simple method….

I hope you had a go at the red car game last month and are now fed up of spotting every red car that goes by. The mind can have a massive influence on performance, especially when encountering failure or disappointment over a period. A way of learning to cope with this is called “parking”.

Parking can help remove fears associated with poor performance and can be part of allowing constructive learning to take place from a poor experience. From a coach’s point of view, it involves a close relationship with a performer, and an understanding of what makes them tick.

Following a negative experience, it is important to enter dialogue with the participant to discover how and why they feel they have failed. It’s also vital to give honest feedback to build up a full picture and to support positive outcomes that would lead to improvement.

Once these outcomes have been identified it is important that the bad experience is “parked”. This can be done by visualising the problem being moved to the back of the mind, or any way they feel they can forget it. This allows the positive aspects to come to the fore.

Hopefully, these parked experienced, cease to be thought about when competing, but it may take several attempts to keep them locked away. Like learning a new skill, remember “purposeful practice makes perfect”.

A word of warning when working with elite performers, who tend to blame everything but themselves, this is called “attribution“. They may struggle to see that anything they did was their fault, but other factors were in play.

The weather, equipment, bait and even bad luck are blamed. As elite performers tend to be wired in a different way to us, they don’t need to park anything as they never make any mistakes attributed to themselves!


Richard Hadley
Angling Trust Coaching Centre Manager and Lead Safeguarding Officer
07720 974811 |