SportStars Magazine

Learning the R.A.C.E. Formula

If you’re still with me in this ongoing conversation, you clearly connect with the messages I’ve been espousing, that young basketball players, like Tod, are carrying around mental/emotional baggage that interferes with their ability to perform to their potential. Remember this equation: 

Performance = Potential – Interference

Let’s talk about some typical mental baggage kids have that stops them from playing their best in competition. And lets move over to girls and womens basketball for a moment. 

Amy (not her real name) a senior playing on her high school team was such a great kid. Polite, friendly, carried herself well and had a great relationship with her parents; I could tell.

She was the center on the team and named captain early in the season.  But she was a very reluctant captain. 

  • Yes, her play inspired her teammates. 
  • Yes, she was a scoring machine when she was on. 
  • Yes, everyone initially liked her on the team.  

No, she should never have been named captain.  

Why? Because it didn’t fit her personality.

It triggered her belief programs about “standing out” and “being in the spotlight” which is something that is very common among girls. It’s a form of fear of success.

 And it needs to be C- Cleared (referring to the RACE formula)- if she was going to perform to her potential.

This isn’t hard to understand when you realize that girls have a far stronger tendency toward creating and belonging in community. Sports, and in particular basketball, can threaten that.

Moms know, but dads might not, that girls can be vicious in their gossiping and backstabbing and this shows up when one girl feels insecure and copes by trying to take down the shining star… Amy was that star!

Amy truly felt her community (teammates) was at risk and unconsciously started holding herself back mid-season.

Amy’s mom picked up on this but no matter what advice she gave her, it had no effect. That’s when Amy’s mom reached out to me in desperation.

To my mind, this was an easy “Clear” and it’s built in to my basketball mental toughness program

 At it’s essence, C. in the R.A.C.E. formula utilizes what I call 4 “Unconscious change mechanism.”

1. Identify the interference (as we did with Amy above)

2. Come up with the “Right” antidote to #1 above

3. Deliver it to the unconscious (power mind for kids)

4. Condition it (just like physical skills) 

Pay special attention to #2 above because it’s huge. Mom basically told her all forms of what parents and coaches tell their players. “Believe in yourself.”

Good advice. Wrong antidote! Amy’s unique mental baggage is why it didn’t work.

— — — —

I’m an efficiency fanatic from my early days as a corporate manager in a Fortune 500 company and all I care about

is what works. Period. I’ve seen Amy’s “fear of success” interference many times and also a bunch of other typical triggering programs basketball players tend to have. Over time and trial and error, I’ve created the right antidotes to C. “Clearing the Interference”. 

The key, I’ve found, is that it is most effective when done in a particular sequence! It’s all done for you in the Basketball Mental Toughness program.

 If you have younger kids, like 8-11, it is an amazing bonding opportunity for you do go through such a program with them – to help them integrate it with your family’s values. Check the link above to explore more of this.

Let’s do this,

Craig Sigl

The Mental Toughness Trainer

Image compliments DICK’S Sporting Goods

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