Meditation is one of the most sought after and practiced skills among top athletes. The reason why is because meditation helps athletes learn how to take more control of their focus and emotional control. The challenge in competition is that many athletes struggle with their inner thoughts. Oftentimes, athletes cling onto their thoughts to the point where they start to believe everything that is happening. Thoughts such as, "that player is too good" or "today is not my day".
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Checkout the latest Mental Toughness Chat with Former Top 4 tennis player in world James Blake!
In this video James and I discuss how:
One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is the mistake of giving away their power. Think of power as an actual ball of energy that you carry with you wherever you go. This ball of energy is filled with confidence, positivity, maximum focus, and an ability to keep fighting no matter what happens. When athletes lose focus, what they are doing is passing their ball of energy or "power" to someone or something else.
Below are some examples of when athletes and teams give away their power.
Checkout the latest Mental Toughness Chat with Former Top 5 tennis player in world Jimmy Arias. Jimmy arias is also a commentator for The Tennis Channel. Here we discuss topics from a players point a view and a broadcaster point of view such as struggling with confidence, choking, mental toughness skills, and some of Jimmy's toughest losses such as his semifinal match at the 1983 US Open against Stefan Edberg.
Champion athletes understand that in order to perform to their full potential they must stay focused on the right objective. However, when the pressure becomes greater, the mind naturally wants to go elsewhere. Thoughts of potential mistakes, disappointments, and other forms of worry start compiling in the athlete's mind depleting the athlete's focus from the present task.
Below is one tip I strongly recommend athletes practice. This tip will help restructure your thought patterns into successful performances under pressure.
One of the most common questions asked at SPMI is why do some athletes get so emotional when under pressure?
First, we must look at the root of an emotional response. Science has discovered that the number #1 reason why athletes have emotions is due to Survival. Emotions are there to help individuals survive because they help prepare the body for action.
Struggling is one of the most important skills to success. Yes, I did mention that struggling is a skill. This skill, also known as, delaying gratification has been proven to produce more success than any other skill athletically, academically, and in life. There are even studies in developmental psychology that show the significant benefits that struggling has on becoming more successful in life.
One of the greatest challenges I face among some athletes who are new to the program at SPMI are those who struggle to push themselves hard enough to reach their goals. Many athletes, coaches, and even parents may interpret this lack of drive as laziness or lack of passion. However, in many cases, the lack of effort and commitment is not caused by laziness but instead by a lack of positive vision.
At SPMI, I have worked with athletes in over 35 sports. One key component every sport focuses on is the emphasis on performance data. For example, in baseball, players are focused on areas such as batting average or ERA. In Tennis, players are tracking first serve percentage, number of unforced errors, Golfers are big on shooting low scores, and greens in regulation. No matter the sport, data measures performance and success. But is performance data a good thing to focus on during an athlete’s performance?