5 Ways To Improve Your Game While In QuarantineMar 19, 2020
YOU have been affected by COVID-19.
Whether it’s school closures, season cancelations, challenges working from home, or threats to your own health and wellbeing, no one is spared, and our hearts go out to those that are hit the hardest.
And while we can’t offer you childcare, checks, or the season end you hoped for, we will support you the best way we know how: With tips on how you can maintain your growth mindset and improve your game during this time of disruption.
After all, if there’s one thing this crisis illustrates, it’s that we’re all in this together. Read on for our tips below.
Visualization is a powerful way to practice your sport without physically doing it. By visualizing success in your sport, you subconsciously increase your belief in your abilities. When you change how you see your abilities, your performance changes.
The most elite athletes in the world know that visualization helps to:
- Build confidence
- Control emotions
- Improve your physical skills
- Heal injury
- Fight stagnation
Visualization is an incredible skill to practice while you’re in quarantine. It gives you the ability to improve your sport from your home without any equipment.
Below, we’ve provided a visualization for you that you can share with your athletes.
COACH AND ATHLETE VISUALIZATION
- Start by journaling about one of your best performances.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Then, replay that time in your mind in as much detail as you can recall from start to finish.
- Open your eyes and journal
- What did you see?
- What did you hear?
- What did you smell?
- What did you feel emotionally?
- What did you feel physically?
- After you’ve taken time to reflect, close your eyes and replay that time in your mind once more.
- Repeat this exercise by reflecting on another great performance, then another.
For more information on how visualization can improve your game (and your life) read our full blog, Top 5 Reasons to Visualize (w/Scientific Proof).
NOTE: Mindfulness and meditation are overlapping disciplines, and we tend to use these words interchangeably.
The word, "meditation' means to think deeply about something. The practice of meditation involves looking inward, focusing, relaxing, and drawing awareness.
The powerful thing about mindfulness is that it teaches you to be present in your body and purposeful about your thoughts. In sports, these qualities can help you focus your energy and control your emotional reactions. In quarantine, these qualities can help you remain calm and decompress from the general unrest of the world. Research shows that mindfulness and meditation can improve sleep, help you make positive dietary choices, feel empowered, and increase immunity (!!!), among many other benefits.
If you want a quick on-the-go mindfulness exercise, here’s a simple one that will bring you back to your body.
100 BREATH MEDITATION
- Go somewhere quiet and free of distractions* (see below)
- Sit comfortably in an upright position with your eyes closed
- Breathe slowly. In through your nose and out of your mouth.
- Count each inhale and exhale until you reach 100 breaths.
- BONUS: Journal immediately after using the prompt, “How do you feel before? How do you feel now? How might this help you/your athletes/your team in competition?
This is a great exercise for athletes, coaches, and teams. Share this with your athletes and/or call a team meeting to do this exercise with them over facetime.
*If you have kids running around, feel free to do this on a walk, in the car, or at the park, while you’re washing dishes. Even if you don’t complete it, you’ll still benefit from the time you do spend on it.
For more information on mindfulness, (and for an extensive list of its benefits), read our full blog, How Meditation Can Make You a Better Competitor.
Journaling is not only a highly effective exercise to declutter your brain, it’s also a great way to set goals and practice mindfulness and gratitude. Although the world is on pause, it’s still important to have goals and work toward the ‘next level you’, and it is also important, now more than ever, to practice gratitude.
TIPS FOR JOURNALING
- Go somewhere quiet where you won’t be distracted.
- Get a pen and paper
- Choose a prompt (or write one yourself)
- Set a timer for 5-10 mins (however much time you have)
- Freewrite and don’t let your pen stop moving until the time is up. If you get stuck, write “what I really mean is…” over and over until you get unstuck.
PROMPTS FOR JOURNALING
- What does ‘next level you’ look like?
- What are you grateful for?
- How can you show up for yourself today?
- What would it look like to really ‘go for’ the future you want?
- How do you want people to remember you?
- How have you grown the last decade? What are you proud of?
- What do you want? (Today, this month, this year)
- What can you do to help the team right now?
For more information about journaling, read our full blog, How to Journal Like a Boss.
Since you have time away from physically training your athletes, why not spend this time working on the mental game? In addition to the visualization and mindfulness exercises we shared above, now is a great time to establish a mental training routine that will provide mental training structure you can bring with you into next season.
Our famous, 5-minute focusing exercise teaches teams to get control over their focus, emotions, and mental state before, during, and after practice and competition. The best part about BRAVR is that it teaches a skill that benefits athletes and coaches both inside and outside of sports.
During this time of uncertainty, The BRAVR will help you stay anchored and focused on what you can control: Your mindset.
- Download The BRAVR.
- Review it by yourself.
- Send your athletes a copy of the workbook.
- Schedule a facetime meeting with your athletes to go through it together.
- Review it and do The BRAVR together.
- Ask athletes to commit to doing the exercise at the same time every day.
- Meet periodically to do it together as a team.
For more information about The BRAVR, read about it in our blog, BRAVR 2.0.
Nothing will help you pass the time and keep your brain strong like a good book on leadership and coaching. These books are of the inspiring, motivational, educational (or all three) variety; and contain fascinating topics to help you work on a little self- improvement and learn some cool new things during this time.
Positivity: The 3-1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life, by Barbara Fredrickson, PhD
One of the mothers of Positive Psychology, Dr. Fredrickson shares the research behind positive self-talk and gives some honest insight into her own experiences with it.
Playing Big: A Practical Guide for Brilliant Women Like You, by Tara Mohr
This book guides you through a journey of examining yourself and where you might be limiting your potential. The author gives concrete tools to work through our own self-imposed limitations.
The Female Brain: by Louann Brizendine, M.D.
If you are a woman, coach women, or have any significant relationships with women, you should read this book. It truly looks into the research behind brain development and explains so much about how men and women differ.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero
Reading this book is almost like sitting down with a really bossy but really smart friend who tells you to ‘get over your shit’… but in a really positive way!
The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman
These two women dive into the research behind confidence; how it’s developed, what’s happening on a cellular level, and most importantly, how we can build more of it. This book will definitely get you thinking in a new way about confidence.
The Inner Game of Tennis: The Classic Guide to the Mental Side of Peak Performance, by W. Timothy Gallwey
This book is not just for tennis players, or athletes, it's for anybody who wants to improve their performance in any activity, from playing music to getting ahead at work.
The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance, by Josh Waitzkin
What separates success from failure? The author dissects his own experience to share tips for building a lifestyle that fuels a creative, resilient growth process.
Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Dan Heath
Psychologists have discovered that our minds are ruled by the rational mind and the emotional mind, and that they compete for control. That's why making change is so hard. This book outlines how we can become the master of our minds to enact transformative change.
For some of you, mindset work is something you've always wanted to do more of, but struggled to find the time to do it. Now as many of you are facing unexpected time off, dealing with cabin fever and a deep desire to continue to grow, we urge you to take this time as a gift to expand your skill set and deepen your inner work. We hope you’ll use the tips we outlined above to get you started on the right foot.
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