“We will only see, hear and experience what we look for” ~ Darren Hardy
7 Peak Performance Attributes
By La Shawn B. Wells, JD
One of the most important things a student athlete needs to learn is how to perform with the right mindset. Learning how to operate at Peak Performance on and off the field by building mental toughness and creating the right mindset will help athletes, especially young athletes win the game, match or event that they otherwise would not win. While also helping them improve their self-esteem.
When coaches and or parents say, “you need to be mentally tougher”, or “focus” they often are speaking a foreign language to the young athlete.
We know from years and years of research and study on human development that belief is a skill that can be developed just like all skills. If you are not born with a predisposition to be a fast runner, then you need to work on it to become faster. Some athletes are predisposed to have a healthier or more positive belief in themselves than others, but the one who lacks a strong belief in themselves can also learn the skill of positive mindset and mental toughness.
In my workshops I introduce to coaches, parents and student athlete’s the 7 principles to Peak Performance. Imagine if you can your young golfer or Tennis Player, Softball girl, high school football player or soccer kid performing at their highest potential, with a mental toughness of a Serena Williams and a Mindset of Michael Jordan
The 7 Peak Performance Attributes include the number one attribute, FUN. FUN is one of the most basic and important principles to reach Peak Performance and motivation. FUN keeps an athlete loose and relaxed. FUN helps an athlete stay properly focused.
The second attribute of the 7 that I help athletes develop is High self-esteem. There is a direct relationship between self-esteem and Peak performance, as one goes up so does the other.
Third, is athletes becoming process focused and not outcome focused. By teaching student athletes what to focus on before and during a game it will either make or break her performance. When athletes have a clear vision of where they are going by writing their vision they create the athletic self-image that they can start to move towards. By writing a new vision they address their beliefs, fears, attitudes about every facet of their athletic self-image.
Fourth, to reach Peak Performance athletes need to be free to fail and make mistakes to play their very best, this happens when they have nothing to lose, and that’s exactly what happens when an underdog pulls off a big upset.
Fifth, being challenged is the next Peak Performance Attribute. However, the key is not to turn the challenge into a threat. Threats rely on external punishment or avoidance of pain as a source of motivation, and though they occasionally work, often they completely backfire. On the other hand, when we are challenged in a healthy way it means we have bought into the challenge, we are having FUN, focused on the process free to make mistakes and confident in ourselves.
Sixth, Peak Performance requires players performing with very little conscious thought. I call this attribute being automatic or non-thinking. When athletes at any level perform to their highest potential, one common characteristic of their mental state is a “quiet mind”
Seventh, and final Peak Performance attribute is for an athlete to perform to his or her highest potential, he or she must be at an optimal level of excitement/nervousness going into the game or match. By learning how to write SMART goals based on their dreams, creating a list of strong affirmations that interact in a way that control behavior. The power of affirmations can best be recognized when we realize that the mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined. For example, suppose you “imagine” late at night that there is a prowler in the house. Are you any less frightened than if you “knew” there was a prowler in the house? Certainly not. You are afraid because you imagine a fearful situation. The use of affirmations to build confidence applies to the same principle, but with a positive goal in mind.
This article was written for the Parenting Aces tennis website. No publication date has been set.
La Shawn is a Peak Performance Coach, goal setting expert & author of two books. He shares his knowledge to help empower individuals, families and student athletes clarify their purpose to live the 100 percent life, and operate at Peak Performance. La Shawn has published several national articles as well as two books, one on motivating and raising children, the other on the parent’s role in supporting their kids in athletics.
La Shawn is the owner and president of Right Choice Coaching, Inc. His Contact is firstname.lastname@example.org/925.586.4771