Competition within our sport or busy lives can bring out the best...…..or worst in all of us!
The psychological demands can be at a peak when two individuals or teams are striving and working towards achieving the same common goal.
When the physical skills are evenly matched, it will be the competitor who can control their mind before and during the event or occasion who wins!
The mind is the most powerful thing we possess (obvious!) but for some it gets taken for granted, left alone just to think whatever and however it chooses, the thoughts then controlling our behaviours rather than us purposely controlling our thoughts to help facilitate our own actions.
Don't misunderstand me, this kind of thinking has its place because we need to mentally reset, relax and rejuvenate, Friday evening rolls around and the internal conversation goes along the lines of "I'm tired, its been a busy week so I'm just going to relax tonight." so without fight we sprawl out, beer in hand, chillin in da hood.
We all deserve the right to listen to ourselves however we choose, but it has a time and place and it works well at certain times to protect us.
But many people and I include athletes, wrongly assume that the mental aspects of performance are unchangeable, they have a "that's just how I am and how I think, so nothing can change" fixed mindset.
Regular mental training will have a similar impact on performance as physical workouts.
When we feel unfit or are training for a sporting event we work physically, however when we are not thinking at our best, struggling to overcome stuck thinking or overcoming mental hurdles stopping us from improving or doing something new in the first place, how many people have tools and techniques in place to combat the thought processes that will truly hold us back, when we need to be at our mentally best no matter how physically capable we are?
We will only go as far as the story we tell ourselves.
The mental aspects prior to ANY performance should involve focusing on what we are going to do during the event. Whether it is performing on the stage, participating in our sports, delivering a sales presentation, going for a job interview etc.
Having the right mindset at the right time is crucial, your performance will be the result of these internal conversations.
Many people have routines and strategies to get into the right state of mind, these are crucial because there are many potential distractions for the sports person that can take the focus away from where it needs to be, just as there is for anybody playing the game of life.
Examples of these distractions being the actions of team mates, the environment we are in, the memory of a bad experience before, the feeling of being overwhelmed by situations or the most common one, the fear of failure.
These kind of things that can distract our thoughts and stop us getting the results we want by hindering our performance.
Having the mental skills and abilities to be in the right frame of mind when required is the key to succeeding in life and constantly producing results.
The beauty is, like anything they can be taught, helping us be at our best when we so wish, its never too late.
Believe great things can still happen because they will.