So why reinvent the wheel? Let’s see what is working for those that are successful and then adopt some of their strategies or habits. Which particular mental skills do most successful athletes seem to have in common?
Jack J. Lyseck from the Ohio Center for Sports Psychology has narrowed it down to nine particular mental skills that many successful athletes share:
Attitude – You will rarely meet a top athlete with a negative attitude
Motivation – It takes time and perseverance to make it to the top. Successful athletes work out what drives them and tap into that to push themselves through the rough times.
Goals and Commitment – Successful athletes set and follow through with goal plans to help them stay on target.
People Skills – It’s tough to get to the top on your own. Successful athletes know how to communicate and gather support from those around them.
Mental Imagery – Conquering this mental skill can fast track your way to the top.
Managing Emotions – Emotional athletes make mistakes. Successful athletes learn how to keep their emotions in check and use their head under pressure.
Managing Anxiety – We all experience anxiety before an important event but successful athletes learn how to manage their anxiety to minimize the impact on their performance.
Concentration – Similarly, we all face distractions at a competition. Learning to block those distractions enables successful athletes to stay in the moment and stay focused on the task at hand.
We all know people who are successful in our industry. Talk to them, ask them what they attribute their success to. Most will be more than happy to share some secrets.