How Not to Lose

Before you learn how to win, you must learn how not to lose.

So many games are not so much won, as they are lost. Many times, it's not that your opponent played too good, it's that you played bad and gave the game away.

Here are the most common ways in which games are lost:
Playing too aggressive and making dumb mistakes.
Playing too unfocused and making simple mistakes.
Giving up, reducing effort, and making lazy mistakes.
Letting pressure get to you and playing too cautiously or choking.
Being too selfish and not working as a team.

If you simply fix these mistakes, you will lose less games. To fix these mistakes:
Play smart and not too aggressive, so you make less dumb mistakes.
Focus better so you make less simple mistakes.
Stay motivated and maintain good effort so you make less lazy mistakes.
Handle pressure better so you stay aggressive and loose.
Be unselfish so you can play better as a team.

But remember, you can’t just focus on what not to do. Just thinking, “Don’t make mistakes! Don’t make mistakes!” doesn’t always help. To fix mistakes, you have to focus on the solutions! Focus on the positive things you can do that lead to success, which I listed above: playing smart, playing motivated, playing focused, playing unselfish, and handling pressure well. 

If you just have basic mental toughness, you will lose less games.

However, this is not enough. Once you learn how not to lose, you must then learn how to win. In order to win at the highest levels, you must do all of these things but even better. Most importantly, you need to play to win. Don’t play not to lose. It is not enough to avoid mistakes. You must also make plays!

But remember, you can't run before you walk. Follow the progressions and master the fundamentals. First learn how not to lose, then learn how to win! Once you stop beating yourself AND you can actively win games, you'll be very successful.