4 Mental Obstacles
- Lapses in concentration
Athlete, do you struggle with any of these?
Of course you do, but which ones? And what have you done to overcome them?
Let’s work through the first two:
- Lapses in Concentration
This one shows up most often as a result of too much going on in your head.
Reminders from parents, reminders from coaches, thinking about what the other person is doing, and of course the thousands of thoughts that naturally pop up in your brain.
Concentration in sports is improved more by elimination rather than addition.
Many athletes think you need to do something extra to get to that place of “flow state” where the game has slowed down and you can finally lock in and crush it.
That’s partially true, but step one is actually to have a plan to eliminate waste from your mind. Unproductive thoughts do not need to stay.
The next time someone gives you reminders/tips/tactics to do something that you’ve already heard before, imagine their words going into one ear and right out the other side.
It’s not rude, it’s smart. In Timothy Gallwey’s best selling book The Inner Game of Tennis he talks about the detrimental effects of over-teaching.
Get this– he found out that when he started demonstrating/noticing more, and teaching/talking less, his players consistently performed better and mastered techniques.
Nerv·ous- easily agitated or alarmed; tending to be anxious; highly strung.
Do you care about your sport and the outcomes?
Do you want to do well and for your hard work to pay off?
If you are experiencing feelings of nervousness, I am glad. And you should be too.
Nervousness is a nerve response that gets your body excited about an upcoming situation.
The moment you begin over-analyzing the feeling you are experiencing (“Oh no. My stomach feels weird. This isn’t good. I’m going to screw up now. I must not be ready for this moment!”) is the moment you lose.
Overcoming nervousness is the easiest thing to do in the entire world. Seriously. It happens with ONE STATEMENT OF TRUTH.
The next time you feel nervous I want you to say to yourself, “This is my body preparing me for what my mind is already prepared for. It's time to go!”
That’s all for today. We will take a look at the last two obstacles later this week!
Dedicated to your success on and off the field,
Coach Andrew J Simpson
P.S. This month I am working with a figure skating team to help them overcome mental obstacles in a very mental sport. If you are interested in a mental workshop for your players, fill out this form.