Many athletes want to be perfect. They want every shot to go in, every pitch to be a hit, every serve to be an ace. Letting go of being perfect is difficult for them to do. They think it means failure, they think it means a slippery slope of eventually being mediocre.
Sure we want our athletes to be driven, they didn’t get to play at a high level by being indifferent about their performance. However, once they learn how to motivate themselves and have a strong work ethic, the irony is that the more they hold on to being perfect, the worse they play. They start thinking (moving into the conscious brain which is WAY too slow to react in a game), they start TRYING to play well, trying to be perfect.
This type of reaction ends up being a disaster more times than not. So, if it doesn’t work why do they do it? Somewhere along the line we almost all learn that thinking constantly helps us to improve in everything. We want to solve the problem. And solve it fast. But it...
Taylor was a top Division 1 basketball player. She was unbelievably talented but going into her senior season, she just didn’t feel like she had ever learned to play her best in games.
In practice: She was an All-American.
In open gym: She dominated. It was driving her and her coaches crazy.
When we started working with her, the first concern was dealing with this all too common issue: playing great in practice but not able to perform in the game. We worked
Changing her self talk
She understood that telling yourself something negative in the present tense constantly is like making a print on your subconscious on repeat. And since we have to act and behave how we see ourselves (what our subconscious tells us) we have to be really careful about what prints we are making. Her language changed from “I play well in practice but struggle in games.” to “I used to only play well in practice but now I’m able to transfer that great play to games,”...