Can anyone expect more from an athlete than giving their best personal effort each and every day? How often do we see this occur in individual and team athletic events? Many athletes and teams believe that they do this, yet continue to fall short of their goals. Why would this happen? Don’t all competitive athletes want to win?
In achieving a peak performance effort all aspects of an athletes preparation must come together at the same time, including a well-developed mind-set. Unfortunately many young athletes and their coaches fail to recognize the power in possessing a comprehensive mental plan for success. As a result athletes may subconsciously hold themselves back in order to ensure a built-in excuse in case they fall short. This is largely due to the perception that their self-worth depends on how they perform. Good performance, good person; Bad performance, bad person. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What the majority of world-class athletes report immediately prior to a major competition is that they are feeling relaxed, confident, and highly focused on the task at hand. They are not worried about their opponent or about anything that is not within their control. They have worked hard to value themselves worthy, and have committed to success with the fullness of their being. This level of commitment is only sufficient when an athlete can answer “yes” to the following question; “ Am I willing to risk everything that I have in mind, body, and spirit even when there is no guarantee of the outcome?” Imagine what your performance would look like if you were able to consistently achieve a world-class approach to competition. You may already be on your way. The following techniques may help you begin, or continue to develop your mental maturity.
The next time you are preparing for a competition try imagining what your performance would look like if there were no limitations placed on you. In other words imagine the possibility of unlimited possibility. This type of out of the box thinking will help you recognize your thoughts can either be a tool of uncertainty and fear or an instrument of inspiration. You have the power to choose. By taking control of these thoughts and emotions you set in motion the power of positive change and open the door for a successful performance. Otherwise, you relinquish that control to external forces. Allow the resulting feelings of these positive thoughts to enter your mind and nurture you. Have some fun and be creative with it. Your goal is to ready your mind for an optimal performance. This is a critical step if you really want to shine.
Once accomplished fear no longer plays a part in your preparation, and you won’t waste valuable time and energy worrying about what others think. You are now free to focus on the task at hand with great intensity. Simply let it go, and make it happen!. It takes commitment, Practice and perseverance to master these skills. The good news is that you already have the power to do so. We all do.
Your challenge is to develop a willingness to commit with the fullness of your being, establish and refine a powerful mental approach, and recognize that it is the quality of the effort, not the outcome, that determines a true champion. Once begun, you will be well on your way to a “world class” effort.“ Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.” Goethe
- Commit to approaching practice and competition with great intensity, concentration, positive thoughts, and persistence
- Congratulate yourself for every success, no matter how small
- Be happy with yourself
- Don’t allow any obstacle to stop you from your goal
- Believe in yourself and what you are doing