Self-confidence; that ever elusive necessity for peak performance. It gives us the courage to push ourselves to extremes, allowing us to achieve beyond our wildest expectations. How can something that makes such an impact be so fragile? Some days you feel like you are on top of the world and can do anything; other days you're wondering if you can manage to get out of bed without messing up.
Is it really that time of year again? It seems like just last month I was writing an article on preparation for last year's futurity and here we go again. Stress Management keeps popping up but it is particularly relevant this time of year as everyone heads to Fort Worth and Oklahoma City to battle it out.
Many people head off to the grocery store with a list in hand, or at least in mind, while others prefer to just turn up and wing it. While “winging it” in the grocery store might work out OK for you, I strongly caution the use of this tactic in performance.
One theory in sport psychology suggests that athletes may differ in their predisposed goal orientation. Essentially, the aim of setting goals is to achieve “something,” but how do we define achievement? Whether we succeed or fail depends on our perception of whether we have reached our personal goals or not. This being the case, what I consider to be a success may be a total failure to you, depending on how we each define success and failure.
I love Facebook. I come across all kinds of pearls of wisdom from the general masses and keep up to date with irrelevant information that I never needed to know in the first place. Occasionally though, something catches my eye and I read a quote from ncsasports.org this week that did just that —"It's hard to beat a person who never gives up."
Much of our mental preparation involves reducing anxiety, building confidence, and attaining a "winning" state of mind and body. What if you don't know what that "winning state" feels like? How do you know what to aim for? Professionals in our industry have an advantage with considerable experience under their belt to build a mental portfolio of successful performances.
Winning starts well before you step into the pen or onto the field. You need to believe you can achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. But where does that confidence come from?
Pursuing performance goals can be a grueling challenge for even the most dedicated and ambitious of us. It can be even more difficult to motivate others to stay focused and committed on the path of progress, but that's just what coaches and trainers have to do. As the team leader, it is your job to promote a cohesive team that meets the needs of not only the team but of the individual members themselves.
Emotional regulation is critical for peak performance. We have to learn how to regulate the way we feel to control the impact on our actions, and ultimately our performance. Elite athletes learn how to identify and control various emotions to stay on target with their performance goals. What type of emotions can affect the way we perform? How do they impact our performance? What can we do to minimize this impact?