…but I can relate to the head games.
Back in ’91, I was just starting bike (bicycle) racing. I’d had one season with a few races, got to where I could hang with the pack, and was looking forward to the coming season. Took a tri to Moab with a friend, and we decided to return early and catch a mountain bike race in our locale. It started on a rubberized running track, and it was a mass sprint to the single track. One rider bumped my right side, and then another scraped by on my left, taking my bars with him. Crashed hard, shattering my collar bone, cracking my helmet (which I didn’t discover until 3 days later), and ending my season before it even began.
The next year, I found myself freaking out every time I had riders on both sides of me. I’d hang towards the back (bad placement in bike racing) or at the side, and if the pack swarmed around me at all, I’d just lose strength, and even though I was still riding hard, I’d find myself at the back quickly.
Took me a good three years to completely get over that feeling. Part of it was getting around a group that I trusted again (my team mates and people I raced with ALL the time), and part of it was making more GOOD memories and mental images to overwhelm the one bad experience.
For you, the best thing is that you KNOW what you did, what caused the mishap, and how to correct it. But there’s no way you can NOT think about something. Just try it.
I DARE you NOT to think about a pink elephant. Whatever you do, do NOT think about a pink elephant! NO! I said NO pink elephants!
See how that works? So concentrate on what you know to do, positive self talk (don’t tell yourself to NOT do something, tell yourself to DO the right things), relax a bit, and you’ll be fine.