Author Archives: sheryl

How do you perform when you feel that you are falling short?

What does the feeling of being disappointed in yourself do to your movements and decisions?

For example:

You have just given up a point (or a goal) due to your error, or what turned out to be a bad decision.

Now the score is against you because of something that you tried that didn’t work out.

 

 

 

Risk

 

You took a risk and bet on your skills, or strategy, and it didn’t work out.

What happens next inside your mind?

 

Do you spend some time;

  • telling yourself what a useless idiot you are?
  • fighting against the idea that you are not as good as you think you are?
  • experiencing disappointment with yourself/
  • worrying about being a disappointment to others?

or do you

  • shift into the learning mode you have been practicing and design a response to that error that makes you stronger/faster/smarter?

Are you a perfectionist?

 

Perfectionism makes this worse. Every single error triggers self-criticism and self-doubt.

 

The danger here is that your self-criticism and rising self-doubt

  • impair your ability to pay attention to the essential elements that allow you to perform well in the moment, and
  • cause you to take fewer risks.

Eventually, you will find yourself playing so conservatively that the only skills you are using now are the ones you felt comfortable with several years ago.

You have regressed to the player you were years ago. In this way you are getting further away from your skills as an athlete.

 

 

Focus Training.

 

 

 

Identifying the key elements of your successful performance and practicing refocusing on them after a distraction, makes your positive focus stronger. Having strong focus makes it so that distractions are less able to derail your performance. You stay connected to your strengths instead of losing touch with them.

 

 

 

Growth mindset.

 

 

 

Everything you try and fail at gives you good information for the next attempt.
The key is to look for this important information even when the failure stings. Our natural tendency is to avoid paying attention to the unpleasant error.
Practicing shifting into a growth mindset will help you deal constructively with errors.

Eventually, you will have the sense of impending growth along with the sting of the mistake.

 

And you will be less inclined to stop taking risks.

Improve your skills by making mistakes

    What do you want?

Identify how you want to grow in your sport.

    What are you willing to risk in order to grow?

  •  Are you willing to risk your identity as the sports phenom in your family, on your team, in your town?
  • Are you willing to risk your reputation as the ‘star’ in return for being an even better learner?

 

    What are you not willing to risk right now? Where do you need security and how does having security help you extend yourself?

If you notice that you are not willing to risk your reputation in order to grow, this is an important      piece of information.

 

Notice what it does to your performance when you are playing in a situation that puts your reputation at risk.

Does this type of pressure tend to make you play small?

If you want to be more able to take risks with your ‘star’ reputation in order to reap the benefits of learning from mistakes, here is something to do that will help you:

  • Strengthen your leadership qualities.
    • Pick a teammate or two and help them learn what you know. Get some of your pride from raising up the newbies.
    • Use your social skills and befriend a teammate who could use some help in this area.
    • Help a teammate be calm under pressure by being reassuring about their skills.
    • You will need these skills if you want to be Captain or a Coach in the future.
    • Model learning from mistakes for your teammates. (Deliberately taking the risks that you envision as helping you progress, responding with self-acceptance instead of self criticism, Praising this process in others instead of criticizing them.

    What types of mistakes do you want to accumulate so you can learn from them?

  • over- hitting?
  • under-hitting
  • being too conservative?
  • being too aggressive?
  • Being too flexible?
  • Being too inflexible?

Practicing and performing with a growth mindset allows you to handle mistakes constructively.

Is anger affecting your sport performance?


 
Sport psychologists commonly see athletes who have been referred to them for anger problems. In some cases, their inability to control their angry behaviors has cost them penalty minutes and hurt the team. In other cases, the fury that they experience diminishes their ability to pay attention to what is happening on the field and make wise decisions quickly.
 
But anger doesn’t have to be only a problem. When harnessed effectively anger can be fuel, according to New Jersey sport psychologist Dr. Mitch Abrams.
In sports, ” there’s a fine line between dangerous anger and productive anger” that can be empowering, Abrams says. The key element in determining the difference is the ability to channel the direction of the anger.
 
You want to be guiding and allowing your anger instead of it controlling you. This takes practice and awareness.
 
Mindfulness*. The key element in this type of anger management is mindfulness. Knowing yourself and how close to your tipping point you are. Often this means that you have experienced going overboard several times so that you become more aware of where your tipping point is.
 
Abrams suggests that athletes pay attention to the type of thoughts they are experiencing. If they start to think about retribution and physical harm to an opponent, that is a sign that their rage has become detrimental to their ability to pay attention to the important elements of what is happening right now.
Being mindfully aware of your anger gives you the emotional distance that allows you to remember what you value most. And what you value most is performing your best under adversity and helping your team. This perspective helps you channel your fury into power when you are fatigued.
 
Harnessing your anger can bring you confidence as you pull yourself back over the brink of being out of control. If anger has been harming your sport performance, you will benefit from daily mindfulness practice.
 
*Mindfulness- the full awareness of your present moment experience. This ability, and attention control, is strengthened by daily mindfulness meditation practice.