Get Mental with Erika Westoff, SportStars INSIDER•
Interested in doing something today that can enhance your training or competition tomorrow? Keep reading. You’ll learn how planning with purpose produces positives.
I’m a big fan of simple strategies that make a BIG difference in development, and that’s exactly what you’ll find here.
I’ll add, that while these strategies are simple, they aren’t always easy and do require insight, commitment and discipline.
For the record, those are all required to be a great athlete … mental game or not.
I encourage you to read, complete the exercises and get out on the field (court, area, course, etc.) and see how this process changes your experience.
The focus here is pre-game/training preparation.
What you do before you show up to play can have a dramatic effect on your experience while you play. Follow along step by step to begin transforming your athletic development.
Step #1: Choose an outcome —
Begin with a brainstorm of all the technical, tactical (strategic), physical and mental performance goals you have for yourself.
Once you’ve got a list, prioritize the list down to one goal per category. These are your outcomes you will focus on.
Step #2: Identifying a purpose —
Now focus on one specific outcome you want.
Why is this outcome important to you specifically? (Not to your coach, not important to the sport, but to YOU?)
A strong purpose for achieving your outcome will ensure that you follow through.
Without purpose, it’s easy to give up, move on to something else and feel that you are being guided by other people’s expectations or agendas. If you are over the age of 13, it’s time to start taking ownership of your sport experience.
Step #3: Make an action plan —
The goal here is to simplify your outcome to a few concise, action-oriented words.
For example, words like “ready” “look” “go” “accelerate” get to the heart of many movements on the field. It can be a process to whittle your thoughts down from a conversation such as, “When you get the ball, look up, get up the field quickly and make a strong pass” to “look, go, pass.”
The latter feels easier to execute and allows you to think faster on your feet.
Simple. But Not Easy!
Seems simple, right? It is, but again it’s not easy.
Take a few minutes to go through each step before your next training and note how it enhances your focus and stick-to-it-ness during your time on the field. Repeat. Repeat… and Repeat.
Work hard and be great!
Erika Westhoff is a CEO and certified mental trainer at EW Performance in Pleasanton