Getting back in the game after a big mistake Part I DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

On Facebook Sunday evening there was a photo of Peyton Manning with the caption, “Mom, can you please come get me?”

During the third quarter it really looked like the Broncos just wanted the game to be over. It was easy to imagine them praying for a snow catastrophe, hoping the field would open and swallow them all up, wishing for the electricity to go out—permanently. (There was a prop bet available on whether the electric would go out—not a smart bet to take since there was so much focus on it.)

Pi and I spent part of the weekend watching reruns of ANTM (America’s Next Top Model). Our favorite part is commenting on pretty much everything. What struck us, time and again, was how the mistakes and failures were more about what was between the model’s ears than anything else.

It seems that much of what happened to the Broncos was between their collective ears as well.

(One could comment that many models don’t have much between the ears. One could similarly speculate about the majority of football players. However, one would also need to acknowledge that professionals are generally pretty good at their game even if they can’t figure out how to turn on the kitchen light.)

It is so easy to lose focus. Whether you’re competing in the Super Bowl, vying for a spot in the finals as a model, barreling down a snowy slope at 6 zillion miles an hour (yes, the Olympics are almost here!), or trying to study for a biology quiz, it is easy to get distracted. And that distraction, even for a mere fraction of a second can have a cascading effect.

In some ways it’s hard to believe that the safety at the beginning of the game (oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel) threw the Broncos so completely that they checked out of the game a mere 15 seconds into the first quarter. They’ve come back from behind plenty of times. They’re professionals. It was the Super Bowl after all! You don’t just zone out.

But if you were watching the game it certainly seemed like that’s what happened. Either that, or they got sprinkled with a big dose of Can’t Do It Dust during the coin toss.

Whatever it was, they couldn’t escape the force field that was dragging them down.

Perhaps, as my friend Cheryl said when she suggested this post, they didn’t have a good enough recovery plan.

I leave it to the football experts, sports psychologists, and Monday morning quarterbacks to solve the problem of how to rope up the Broncos and fix whatever was wrong.

But what about the rest of us? How do we get back in the game after a disappointing result on an exam? How do we recover if we’ve gotten behind on studying? How do we get it back together when it feels like there is a really big hole to climb out of (and it would be so much easier to turn on reruns of How I Met Your Mother)?

I’ll have some thoughts tomorrow on 5 Ideas for Getting Back in the Game, but what are your ideas for getting back in the game?

Love, Mom

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