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...
With long, sunny days upon us in the northwest, many of us are finding lazy ways to pass the time. What better way to spend a summer's day than to dive into some great reads that will give you a lasting glow from the inside out. In response to popular demand, I compiled a list of some of my favorites.
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 this summer!
Some of these books are presented as though they are focused on women, but that’s just for marketing purposes (i.e. women tend to buy more self-help books). These books are for anyone that wants to improve.
Positivity: The 3-1 Ratio that will change your life, by Barbara Fredrickson PhD. One of the mothers of Positive Psychology, Dr. Fredrickson talks about the research behin d positive self-talk and gives...
By Olympian Courtney Thompson
“You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns. Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind.” -I Ching
In my experience, it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone wants to be confident. No matter what you are doing: Playing a game, giving a speech, on a date, or taking a test at school, it’s going to be infinity more enjoyable when you feel good about who you are in that moment. In other words, confident in your own skin.
I know from personal experience how painful it is to NOT be truly myself in a given moment. It’s a feeling, in my opinion, significantly worse than losing or failing or any of the things we spend time worrying about.
This is my challenge to the athletes I work with: Fight and work towards being your true self, nothing more and nothing less, in every environment you...
Imagine you possess all the material success you’ve ever dreamt of. You have a career full of accomplishments, you live in the house you’ve always pictured, and you hold the respect and admiration of your peers, colleagues, and friends.
In other words, you’d expect to be wildly confident in yourself, right?
Well, not exactly…. While we all picture a future where we ‘arrive’ at our most confident selves, the reality is that’s not how confidence works.
When I'm working with athletes, it’s easy for me to look at the ones who have been successful and think, “Now, that’s confidence!”
However, many times I don’t know the backstory of how they got to that point. So while, at times, I'm witnessing true confidence, the result of hard work, failure, and perseverance other times I'm seeing mere “surface confidence”, or an unsustainable, skin-deep confidence that doesn’t...
Picture this: It's 10 years from now and you are up for a promotion. You should be elated, but instead just feel exhausted by your 50+ hour work week. You glance in your reflection in the window. Even through the smudged glass, you see the deep line that has made a home between your eyebrows.
When did that happen? You ask yourself.
Then it sinks in: you’re unhappy. You haven’t been happy for a long time. This heavy realization begins to weigh on you as you consider the "what if's" of your past. You ask yourself, What if I had traveled more. What if I had taken the job I actually wanted. What if I had taken that year off to spend time with my family. What if...
What if you had made your life decisions based on the parts of yourself that you wanted to preserve. What if you had chosen the life course that would best reflect the strengths in yourself that you value, not your parents, friends, or professional community. The strengths in yourself that you value.
Whether you’ve just recently graduated or you’re anticipating hearing those words in the near future, just know: It’s a good thing you’re an athlete.
College is tough, no doubt, but life after college is its own unique challenge. You’ve spent years making it a habit of getting to classes, taking exams, studying, going to practices scheduled by others, being directed by others (namely, professors and coaches) who would tell you what you need to do, when to do it and, sometimes, even how to do it.
That time has ended. YOU’RE in charge now.
Are you scared?
You shouldn’t be, because...
Look, we’ve already talked about how self-talk can impact your game, so now’s the time to think beyond sports and into your career life, post-graduation.
You’re an athlete. For years you’ve been learning skills that have...
One of the first things I tell the athletes I work with is this: I'm not here to fix you - there's nothing that needs to be fixed. I'm here to reveal more of you.
I tell them this because in the past so much of sports psychology has been rooted in psychology (duh), which is about pathology (i.e. fixing those of us that need help).
These days, thanks to people like Martin Seligman and the Positive Psychology movement, we realize that psychology isn’t just about fixing (though it can be). It’s about enhancing.
In a sentence:
Just because you don’t NEED help doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from it.
And yet, some athletes still believe in the stigma of the sports psychologist: that using sports psychology in their training somehow means they are weak and not self-reliant.
And that’s a confidence killer.
Take one of the top badminton players in the world who, by all accounts, failed miserably mentally in a recent...