Being a champion is all about making great choices at crucial and critical moments!
That will not happen overnight. It will take patience, insightful thinking, experience and deep and sustained desire. You have got what it takes!
The direction you want to go in every moment in sport is straight towards your goals, namely, playing or competing up to your ability in every moment and always giving yourself the best opportunity of success.
To do this you must make great choices which are essential especially in the moments when you can be most punished. At those critical moments in competition its always an athlete’s responsibility to make the absolute best choice to help and not hinder his/her performance.
Hopefully you realise that when wretched negativity in thought and behaviour starts, it can end up escalating and become a hurricane of negativity inflicting itself on all parts of yourself. At all costs this must be avoided or you will be going in the exact opposite direction to where you want to go.
Note: every moment, in fact this very moment, requires a choice. You are choosing to read this blog. You are choosing to learn something that could lead to you becoming an absolutely amazing athlete and improving your skill set and mental approach.
Similarly, every moment in practice and competition is a moment requiring you to make a choice. Here are some obvious choices:
- Did you prepare yourself adequately for practice or not?
- Did you just turn up or get your mind and body totally prepared to learn and improve?
- In competition, do you play within yourself or out of my skin when you have an argument with you partner, best friend, parent…etc?
- Have you properly prepared your game plan or just hoped for the best? Have you researched the track, your competition, the conditions, researched the person/opposite number you are coming up against or simply gone in there hoping for the best?
- Have you packed the ideal food for recovery in between rounds of competition or simply assumed food would magically appear on the way to the event or at the event?
- Did you assume that your game would simply turn up or did you drill your technique preparing for all contingencies?
- Did you ask yourself is that the ‘best way’ to prepare for this event or assumed that what you are doing is just enough?
- Will I stick to my tried and tested pre-shot routine or try something different hoping that it will work?
- Am I ready to back myself or give up when the going gets tough?
- Will I simply get angry, frustrated, irritated and say negative things to myself when obstacles eventuate but hope it will turn out despite my negative mindset?
When you think about it, from the moment you wake up in the morning till the time you go to sleep, your life is filled with one decision or choice after another. So many of us are so habitual inclined that we forget that choices present themselves in every moment.
A great way to start making the right choices in sport are making the right choices in life in general.
Have you carefully considered your options? Have you considered All choices!
Constantly check-in with yourself.
In sport, the choices are endless in all aspects of preparation and in every moment of play!
The number one choice that you must properly prepare for is; when the negativity starts rushing around the space between your ears that you:
- Choose to act differently!
- Choose to act positively!
- Choose to give yourself the best chance of success on every moment.
- Choose wisely!
- Choose success!
……..choose positive and up-lifting thoughts especially when your game feels a little off. This is when your positive mindset is most needed.
Make your standard operating procedure of mind (SOP of mind) the following ‘stock’ language: I can do this! I am determined! I’ll all over this! Now is the time to step up! I am limitless! When the going gets tough, I get going! Stay cool! In the now! Trust! Now the work starts!
To start with, it’s as simple as that. Choose words, thoughts, and then actions that are positive and helpful. All self-talk, or the words you repeat are a choice. The way you talk to your coach, Mum, Dad, your dog and most importantly yourself is a choice. Never forget that when you are spitting the dummy and stomping around your event thinking and saying angrily the whole world is collaborating against me. You bet: like it or not – that is your choice!
Most importantly, drum roll……….the cold reality is: YOU are conspiring against yourself! Possibly re-read that sentence again. How is that possible? Conspiring against yourself implies you are hurting yourself and not backing yourself. Why would anyone, let alone you, do that? Doesn’t that contradict your ultimate vision, highest goal, or life long pursuit of excellence?
Let me add to this alarming truth: if you are hammering yourself when it isn’t happening that is a choice – even though that may be difficult to recognise when it’s happening.
You are choosing to hurt yourself by your words and actions!
Until you can face this fact you cannot overcome it. That is, you must take full responsibility for ALL your words, thoughts, and actions; by doing so you will take control of your choices. By actively pursuing your best self and trying to make good choices ALL DAY you will start to control your choices and start to improve all parts of yourself.
Taking responsibility and levelling with yourself will inevitably help you make better choices and in turn improve your training, performances and life in general.
Recognise this repetitive faulty thinking and the truth will set you free.
It takes courage to admit the truth. It takes courage to say, I am constantly blowing my chances because of MY BEHAVIOUR AND MY MIS-DIRECTED THOUGHTS.
Let me tell you a profound truth: that when you finally level with yourself about what’s truly going on in your head and you call a spade a spade – this honesty and truth will set you free.
The key to breaking the habit is to take responsibility for every action and every thought and every reaction in every area of your life.
Choose thoughts that give you the opportunity to be your best every day and, in every way, and then commit to acting upon those words through reasoned actions that make your feel good about yourself.
Oh, most importantly and at the expense of being repetitive; smile, it’s a game and when you are smiling you are in a good place; just like Happy Gilmore.
Invest in the good stuff and who knows what can happen.
Help improve your choice making skills by investing in The Champions Sports Mindset webinar series, here and now.