Athletes Who Second Guess Themselves
Making quick decisions is essential in fast moving, dynamic sports.
Sports like volleyball, fencing, wrestling, tennis, etc. require fast decisions, sometimes within milliseconds, in order to be successful.
Athletes who master the skill of quick, decisive decision making tend to dictate the flow of the game or match, feel in control and confident, and are able to make things happen in competition.
The flip-side of decisive thinking are the over-thinkers or athletes who second-guess…
These athletes second-guess their decisions, over-analyze the situation, and lack trust in their ability to make the right decisions.
Over-thinkers are afraid to make mistakes so they hesitate before acting, giving their opponent a huge advantage.
You don’t have a lot of time to weigh your options in competitive sports, especially when a 75mph volleyball serve is heading your way. You only have about 0.21 seconds to make the correct read, position your body and plan where you want to hit the ball.
In baseball, a 95mph ball takes approximately 0.40 seconds to home plate. Not a lot of time to identify the pitch, location, whether you will swing or where you want to hit the ball. You don’t have time to think, only react.
Now you understand the importance of quick decisions during competition.
The question is: Can you improve the mental skill of decision making and, if so, how?
To answer the first part of the question… if decision making is a skill, then yes, it can be improved with consistent repetition over time.
How? The answer may seem obvious but practice under game-like conditions. The key is to keep working on your decision making capabilities until that skill becomes reflexive (like brushing your teeth).
Eli Dershwitz is the youngest fencer on the U.S. Olympic men’s fencing team and top-ranked saber fencer in the United States.
Dershwitz is known for thinking quick on his feet… which is critical because many bouts are often decided in under 60 seconds.
DERSHWITZ: “It’s a lot faster-paced — fast reactions, fast touches, a lot of sprints. That always got to me, the amount of physical and mental ability it took at the same time, to be able to be explosive but also to be able to react quickly to what your opponent was doing.”
The secret to Dershwitz’s quick decision making is the amount of time he dedicates towards developing that mental skill until it becomes second nature.
Dershwitz put in the work so he can rely on lightning fast decision making instead of a slow laborious thought process that interferes with the body’s ability to react quickly.
Dershwitz will need to rely on his quick decision making if he plans to land on the podium in Rio.
DERSHWITZ: “I am just looking forward to putting all the hard work and dedication, all the hours of blood, sweat, and tears over the years… into one great tournament.”
Tips for developing quick in-game decision making:
Practice makes better, so follow this 4 step plan:
–Practice being decisive during practice at game speed.
–Create pressure-packed game scenarios in practice.
–Review your progress after practice and determine if you need to make any adjustments.
–Repeat during your next training session.
Learn Powerful Trust-Boosting Mental Strategies!
Are you frustrated with practicing harder in your sport only to have your effort undone by your mental game during competition?
Do you feel like your stomach is in a ball of knots and you cant think clearly because you are so anxious and tense stepping on the the field, court, course or track?
Check out our program, The Fearless Athlete!
The Fearless Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for unbeatable trust. This program is ideal for any athlete or coach that wants to discover powerful mental strategies to overcome fear, perfectionism, and perform with trust.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“Patrick, with your great instruction on the mental game, I had the best nationals I have ever had. And even more important, I got through the five days relaxed and had fun – a new concept in my life! The bottom line – I got five firsts and one second! Thank you! You are just what I needed.”
~Dennis O’Brien, Swimmer
“My son finished the entire Confident Athlete Program. The CD Program helped TREMENDOUSLY. He used it to keep positive thoughts flowing. He was able to focus on his fight instead of on his negative thoughts. He fought at his very best. We are thankful to God for leading us to your website. The CONFIDENT ATHLETE was perfect.”
~Wanda, Sports Parent
Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our students saying?
“WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian