Why coaches and parents talk about the game is 90% mental yet fail to support ways to improve the mindset of their student-athlete?
Because they just don’t understand!
Muhammad Ali said, “In the big leagues’ everyone has the ability. It always comes down to mind games. Whoever is more mentally strong—wins.”
As I mentioned last week a coach of an elite travel team said he does the mental stuff for his team”. The reason the coach would say this is because he doesn’t understand the mindset and how the mental part of the game works. That’s like asking a right-handed batter to switch sides and become a slapper and become proficient at it, but only at practice. This skill set needs individual attention, an expert and a commitment of the players time.
“We take our kids to experts because “they… are… EXPERTS.” Was the statement I made previous, and one I reiterate this week.
At my Peak Performance workshop, I shared with those who were in attendance, the 7 Peak Performance attributes, the power of affirmations and how when used effectively can get a student-athlete to go from good to great. They also learned how to deal with their beliefs and fears, how their attitude can be a powerful asset to their performance and why writing a new vision for themselves can improve their overall self-image.
I don’t have the time, nor would I share it here, but what I will share, is what I know for sure and that is by improving the mindset athletes improve their overall success.
Michael Jordan said “the mental toughness and the heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have. I’ve always said that, and I’ve always believed that.”
In the workshop, I also had the participants improve their Mindset by teaching them about affirmations and how to use them for improving their play on the field and in their life off the field. Affirmations can be used to build confidence with a positive goal in mind.
These are just a few things that can be done to help improve the mental parts of the game because when the going gets tough (school, recruiting, mistake in a big game), most players must rely on whatever predisposed skill they have. Just as some were made to run faster, jump higher, have more power some have a stronger mindset. But just like the kid who needs private lessons, more swings or a pitching coach to gain the skillset needed, so do most student-athletes when it comes to improving that 90% of the game.