When practicing a piece, I find that making one mistake sometimes messes up my muscle memory and throws me completely off. This is especially true of memorized pieces.
This most often happens if, say, I hit a chord shifted by one key, but can happen with a variety of different mistakes including hitting the wrong chord inversion because the piece uses different inversions in different verses. And, it tends to happen in different places, not repeatedly in the same place.
Repetition to solidify muscle memory seems to be the only way to learn and memorize a piece which is too difficult to sight read. However, the down side is, if I get thrown out of muscle memory mode and into "active thinking mode", my active brain has no idea what the next chord or note is, and the piece falls apart.
Do high caliber musicians simply not make mistakes severe enough to throw off their muscle memory for the piece? Or do they have techniques for recovering? Either way, what practice techniques are helpful to reduce the risk of one mistake derailing the entire performance?