Preparation to compete and to perform at your best is not something that comes easy to most people. Creating a perfect environment internally (mentally and physically) and externally (the antecedent conditions) no matter where you are and no matter what happens before or during your performance, should be your goal and something you train and work at in order to perfect the process for those critical times where precision and perfection matter. The ability to keep your focus and your confidence no matter what changes occur around you. The ability to focus on the immediate requirements and those you will need during your performance is critical.
Having a practiced routine, the automatic behavior you use in preparation that allows you to focus on the specifics of what you need to do for a successful performance rather than on the distractions of getting ready. All energy should be dedicated to the needs of the performance. There should be no focus or attention paid to what others are doing or have done. There should not be any attention paid to the results, yours or those of anyone else. Where you will place is irrelevant prior to your performance. If you do your best, your placement will be the best that it can be and that is all you ever have control of.
Insulating your mental game from distraction, imagery and mental preparation allow you to compete at your best for the perfect performance. Automation of important behavior is most important so that when stress occurs due to pressure to perform, that you fall back on what you need to do rather than some less constructive behavior.
The mental anguish and negative reaction to any events before your performance only detracts and has no point or place in winning, The attitude that making the best of circumstances and doing the best you can from this point in time forward is all you can do and what you must do if your intention is to win. When you are competing, everything you do prior to your performance should be focused on what you need to do to be successful now and in the immediate future. And even after your performance all of your attention should be focused on what you did to be successful and what you might do in the future to achieve a better performance.
Concepts such as expectations and results and feelings like disappointment do not help in achieving the goal of success and winning. Results are fine to consider in planning and in knowing where you stand well ahead of time and therefore what specifically is required for achieving success. But thinking of them in any other way during, or immediately prior to a performance will likely only detract from the quality and success of the performance. Expectations have no place at all in the preparation prior to a performance, and the same can be said for disappointment following. These are not productive toward achieving the goal of success and do not help prepare for that goal. You must be able to do your best from each moment forward and disappointment and frustration following a performance always detract from doing your best now and in the future. There is no upside to these detractors.
Preparation and training must prepare you for competition and the stress that occurs prior to and during your performance. Attention to necessary detail and not toward the distractions that inevitably occur is essential for maximizing performance and success.