Why would I want to stick out MORE by being the best?”
....Said no man EVER (okay I’m exaggerating).
But if you coach women, you know what I’m talking about. Your female athletes don’t necessarily say this out loud, but their subconscious brain is SCREAMING it at them daily.
You see it in their performance; they play down to their teammates, don't take the last shot even though they are most likely to make it (is it fear of failure or fear of success?), don't score ‘too much’, play a great game or great half and then self-sabotage by playing down to a lower level of performance.
I know a little bit about this. I always wanted to be the best. And yet even I felt at a very young age the social COST of being the best. And it made me change my performance.
I stuck out on my high school team, I was from a different part of town, I was higher socioeconomically than many of my teammates, I was the arguably the best player as a...
In my opinion, one of the great joys of playing sports is that I can let out my inner bitch without apologizing. (and please don’t email me about using the word bitch… it’s the word that resonates with me.)
But it is an interesting thing isn’t it... when you really think about it?
We are allowed to be rough and aggressive and competitive in a way that isn’t necessarily socially acceptable in everyday life (and dare I say for women in particular). Sports is this pure area that allows us to be free from being ‘nice’, even as we teach sportsmanship and leadership and all those other great attributes.
I get that. YOU get that. But do your ATHLETES get that?
Often times women still pay a price for being aggressive on the playing field, or they perceive that there will be a cost.
So many don’t take advantage of this safe space to let it all go. Whether it’s because they are nice ‘Christian girls’ (as one coach told...
You know the feeling. Your hands are sweaty. Your stomach is in knots and you may or may not have to pee like 5 times. Your heart is racing, and you cannot wait for this feeling to go away.
Logically, you know you are not in danger. It’s just a job interview, first date, game, public speaking, or difficult conversation. But your brain isn’t really listening to that argument. Yes, you are safe, but you just don’t feel like it.
Ahhh the fight or flight response. That glorious, automatic reaction of our sympathetic nervous system that has kept our species alive for 200,000 years (give or take). The response that works beautifully when necessary, but inconveniently comes to visit during seemingly innocuous situations like first dates or presentations.
We’ve all been there. And for most of us, we want to stop feeling that way immediately.
Our bodies are literally screaming at us to rectify the situation, change SOMETHING.
But what if the thing we really...
Great athletes are not coddled and celebrated into greatness; they are forged through rejection, fatigue, failure, and doubt. Toughness, focus, and resilience are qualities that must be challenged before they can be strengthened. So how do you develop athletes that can hold their own on the court, stay focused when it matters most, and recover from failure without losing steam? We’ve combined our research of mindfulness training, positive psychology, and mental training to come up with 7 tried-and-true ways coaches can develop tough, focused, and resilient athletes. We’ve consolidated the following tips into a simple, clear, downloadable coaches cheat sheet to act as an easy reference. Read the blog, and download your copy of our Coaches Cheat Sheet: 7 Ways To Develop Tough, Focused, and Resilient Athletes.
When athletes are stressed or anxious their reflex may be to tighten up and stop breathing. When you stop breathing, it sends a...
"I’ve been visualizing ever since I was 12 or 13 when my amazing mother introduced me to it," Bianca Andreescu said. "I find it very helpful ... I believe we create our reality with our mind."
No big deal, she just won the U.S. Open at 19 years old, defeating 23 time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams.
YOU know visualization is a powerful mental training tool for athletes. You may already be implementing it with your team, maybe by utilizing our popular BRAVR™ Method.
But I want to take a moment and REALLY talk about visualization.
In my humble opinion, visualization is the single best tool for getting your subconscious brain aligned with what you are working toward. When you fail to do this, hard work doesn't mean as much as it should. You can easily work and work and work and self-sabotage every step of the way without even knowing it.
That’s why, when I work with athletes, I teach them to visualize. When I work with mindset...
One of my favorite coaches of all time was the hardest on me.
Isn’t that true for most of us?
She was the one that sat me down and told me my freshman year that I wasn’t cutting it, I looked distracted in workouts and needed to step it up.
She was the one that sat me down and had the real talk real talk of making sure I wasn’t getting too boy crazy in college and keeping my eye on the ball so to speak.
She was the one that would look me straight in the eye and tell me to get my mind right and start competing.
I would have run through a freaking brick wall for this woman. I still will. (It’s Katie Abrahamson-Henderson at UCF by the way). I knew in my soul that she believed in me. I knew that she pushed me hard BECAUSE she cared. And when she was hard on me or disappointed, it hurt, but it motivated me to push to another level.
I love her to my core but not because she was NICE all the time; her positivity was in holding me to a high standard.
Here at Positive Performance, our business circles around one big question:
The answer isn't so simple, involving a really broad set of answers that reach into various facets of athletic and mental training.
But, in the spirit of this season of giving thanks, I’d like to talk a bit about how thankfulness affects performance. Mostly, being grateful means you have to...
Within our mental training program, we teach a principle called ‘Belief in a Purpose’. Essentially, this is about playing and living for something beyond the scoreboard.
For some people, this “something beyond the scoreboard” might be their religion, personal growth, or spirituality. For others, it might be about the pride of a job well done, the challenge of hard work, or the joy that comes from being a part of a group working towards a common goal.
It doesn’t matter WHAT the purpose is. It matters HOW that purpose...
I just got back from 8 days in paradise. Our family has a 100-year old cabin in Desolation Wilderness built by my husband’s great grandfather; It’s rustic and simple and has no cell reception. It has no TV and no central heating. We hike into the mountains, make nightly fires, swim in the alpine lakes, and eat dinner on the deck with just the sky, the trees, and the sound of streams running and birds chirping and chipmunks scuttling among the rocks.
Now that I'm a mom, vacation is about THEM. Watching my 4-year old climb for 2 hours on the steepest mountain trail, watching my two daughters invent games with sticks and rocks and pine cones, teaching them how to catch and release crawdads from hand-made fishing poles, seeing them play in the same stream their dad and grandfather grew up playing in.
While I was on vacation, I didn't work for a second, but I did carve out some ‘me’ time; and for me, 'me' time means more than just...
I do better with limitations. If you give me a project and tell me I have forever to do it, my brain does not get excited. But, if you give me a deadline, I will knock it out like it’s my JOB. I think most people are like that. Ever had an athlete who got better grades in season than off season?
With just a little challenge and a little adrenaline, BOOM, your mind will focus on RESULTS and you'll get WAY more done.
When deadlines don't exist on their own, there are ways to give yourself limitations of your own in order to really benefit from this type of a mind shift.
The next time you're feeling sluggish or demotivated, or overwhelmed by your task list, try the following process.
You know what’s really easy? Being negative. You know what’s really hard? Being positive.