Monday, January 11, 2010

Champion Mindset

I speak regularly to groups of high school baseball and softball players. I address things like the importance of goal setting, confidence, letting go of errors, emotional control and focus.

This week, we talked about having a mental game plan. Being prepared mentally to handle what might come up in a game. As I wrote out ten steps to the Champion's Mindset...I realized it was a good blog topic. Not only can we adhere to these ten steps on the playing field, but we can also apply them to our lives.

Here's the Ten Steps to a Champion's Mindset Game Plan. Apply these to YOUR life and sport!

1. Perform/Live in the NOW. The NOW is the only "time zone" you have control over. Stay in the now by focusing on the task at hand.
2. If you find yourself stuck in the past or worrying about the future, then recognize that you've left the NOW and gently bring yourself back to it. Getting distracted and leaving the now is not a problem as long as you can bring yourself back quickly.
3. Keep track of your UCs (UnControllables): If you realize you are distracted by or focused on things that you have no control over, go back to #2. Recognize you are focused on it and then bring yourself back. Uncontrollables are things like the weather, your opponents, the fans, a bad call by the ump. Things you can not control!
4. Use focal points or cue words: A focal point is something you lock your attention on to help focus. For pitchers it could be the catcher's mitt. In life, it could be your breathing. Breathing also helps you stay in the now!
5. Stay Calm: In sports and life, you can not play or live your best when you are anxious, uptight or wound up. You'll perform your best when you are physically and mentally relaxed. Learn relaxation techniques to help you. My goal for any performance is to be "Ready, Relaxed and Confident"
6. Trust yourself; let it happen. When you try too hard your muscles will tighten and you will be counter-productive. Trust your training, trust yourself and let the performance happen. When you try harder you work outside of yourself...trusting yourself allows you to work within yourself.
7. Leave your mistakes in the past: Have a routine that allows you to "let it go." If you carry your error or mistake into your next play, chances are your next play will not be your best. By developing a mistake routine you can simply let go and refocus. The routine can include things like positive self-talk, "relax, let it go", remind yourself to focus on the task at hand. Or use your breathing...with your exhale, let it go and with a fresh inhale, refocus.
8. Use your negative self-talk as a reminder.
Negative chatter can often creep into our minds. However, you don't have to choose to listen to it. Pretend the negatives chatter is in a foreign language. You don't understand the content...but you can hear the foreign language. Use it as a cue to refocus.
9. Keep your goals close at hand. Write your goals down and keep them with you. After a game or while in the dugout or while having a cup of tea, review your plan to check which goals you have accomplished and which ones need more work.
10. Always have a contingency plan. If what you may plan for today does not work out, have a contingency plan for what you can do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This really helped me. Keep posting advice it really helps...Thank you