Now had there been any sort of build up to this, sure I would be fine with it. Like Yugioh GX for a moment for a reference. Jaden lost badly to Zane, although he was seemingly close to winning. The next time Jaden battled Zane, he wasn't battling like he usually does and it nearly cost him, since he was "over thinking it" and wasn't playing the game to his best. When he realized this, sure the match ended in a tie, but he was back to himself, and realized he could do it his way just fine, and was the better duelist because of it.
But how does that apply to Ash? He didn't badly lose to Elesa. As far as I can tell there was no reason for him to doubt his own battling method, so much that he had to over think the situation and have it nearly cost him the badge.