by: Lindsey Wilson In this article:
Great athletes are great liars. It’s the unspoken superpower of top tier performers. When I played, I was full on Pinocchio. Whether it was during practice or during a competition, I’d lie to myself constantly, saying things like:
Sports training isn’t about generalities. You’d never tell your team, “Just get the ball out there… somewhere.” Or say, “Don’t worry about the goalie. Just kick it within the vicinity.”
Without accuracy, without precision, there is no game. There is no goal, there is no team. More importantly, there is no win.
Leah Johnson, Head Women’s Volleyball Coach at Southern Illinois, felt concerned enough about the generalities surrounding leadership to get in touch with our team of experts at Positive Performance. Specifically, she wanted to know our opinions about:
And we’re going to tell you precisely what we told her.
Generic leadership training isn’t specific to the sports arena. Leadership tips are being passed around everywhere. From the mouths of retail managers to their...
ESPN published an interview and article on how Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks are using mental training to gain a competitive edge. Pete's philosophy matches ours: If you have happier and more balanced players, they will be better able to manage their emotions, deal with stress, and ultimately perform at their peak when the pressure is on.
After all, sports don't happen in a vacuum and athletes are human beings capable of unproductive thoughts, excess emotions, and vulnerability to stress just like the rest of us.
Expect to see more and more teams doing this as the results speak for themselves and the cost is relatively low. As the article points out, meditation is a key component of their mental training plan. So let’s take a closer look at how meditation can help athletes perform better.
1. Stress management: Athletes are under an enormous amount of pressure and stress fairly...
Many of our clients report that the first 20-minutes of practice drastically improves after implementing this one 5-minute pre-practice routine.
Athletes are often scattered by the time they get to practice. Some days, it takes a long time for their mind to catch up to their body (i.e. ‘it’s time to practice’). They might be tired, hungry, stressed, late, or thinking about boyfriends/girlfriends, school, or life outside of their sport. Giving them 5-minutes to get their mind focused on practice, visualize what they want to achieve, and let go of unproductive thoughts and emotions can be the key to engaging in a productive practice.
Here at Positive Performance we use something we’ve developed call the BRAVR™ method and it goes like this (by the way coaches should do it with their athletes).
We are really excited to present our new podcast series: The Brittney Griner Effect-Coaching and Recruiting the Gay Athlete with Dr. Jenny Withycome. We'll be presenting podcasts on a number of different issues related to this topic including:
Our first podcast is: How does homophobia affect performance?
Here are 3 things you should know:
Looking to gain a competitive mental edge and win more? Sign up for our newsletter and receive straight forward advice and tips on...
Our 2-Minute Drill Videos are designed to give you 2 minutes of mental training tools and information. This video is about how to design an off-season plan. Listen in while Lindsey talks about her own off-season plan. Some points to remember:
Looking to gain a competitive mental edge and win more? Sign up for our newsletter and receive straight forward advice and tips on how to develop your team's mental game.
Imagine you are an elite diver competing in the Olympics. Going into your final dive of the games, you hold a slight lead over your rival, the defending Olympic Champion. As you climb up to the platform, you see thousands of people cheering, but you can only hear your breath. One dive. One chance. Four years. You know you'll have to have a nearly perfect dive to win. One minuscule mistake and you'll lose. You've spent you whole life for this.one.moment.
How are you going to do? What if I told you we could predict your performance? Under all that pressure, with so many variables, there is one thing that separates the good from The Champions. So what is it?
In 1988, 235 Canadian Olympic athletes competed in Seoul, South Korea in the Summer Olympic Games. These athletes were asked to rate themselves on mental, physical and technical ‘readiness’ factors using a 1 to 10 scale where a ‘1’ means ‘0% ready’.
Despite the fact that these athletes rated...
When athletes are struggling, the most important action they can take is to stop thinking about the results of their performance. This is easier said than done and may even seem counter-intuitive to what they have ever been taught. However, just as in business, give me two teams of similar abilities and the team that consistently follows the process will perform more consistently with better results (wins) over the team that is focused solely on results.
One of the many reasons I’m so passionate about sports is because I think learning to ‘go for it’ is vital to reaching one’s full life potential. I also believe it's better to learn this at a young age: when we're closer to the ground and have less distance to fall, when we have less money to lose, when we have less insight and more naiveté. This is a special time in one’s life. Where the habits and attitudes developed have an enormous impact on one's success or failure.
Mental training helps teach young people to ‘go for it.’ I was thinking about this watching ESPN’s 30 for 30 about Reggie Miller. What struck me again and again is how critical Cheryl Miller was in her brother’s success. In the family driveway, Reggie lost again and again to his sister. In his world, those one on one games took everything that mattered to him as a kid: his pride.
So what did he do? He learned to conquer the fear of failure. He learned to...
It is a given that the mind and body are intrinsically connected. As a general rule of thumb: If one feels crummy, the other follows. If one feels great, the other does too. When the body experiences a lot of physical and psychological stress (a sports season being one example), it wears quite significantly on the body and the mind. It’s not enough to take a day off. Instead, one needs a Reset Day- a day completing dedicated to getting ‘back on track’- physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. There is something significant about taking a full day, a dedicated effort, a sense that one will be different (i.e. rested) after the said day than they were before.
To my clients, I recommend taking a Reset Day which consists of the following in order: