How to Take Advantage of Home-Field Advantage Home-Field advantage, does it exist or is it just a myth? Many sports teams compete hard all year long to gain home advantage in the playoffs… Gymnasts feel they have an edge over the competition when competing in the facility where they train… Basketball players feel that they feed off their fans when playing on their home-court… Baseball … [Read more...] about Home-Field Advantage: A Blessing or Curse?
Mental Game of Sports
What is a Goal? Going into a competitive season with realistic goals adds motivation, direction and purpose for an athlete. Going into a competitive season with excessively high expectations adds pressure, anxiety and distraction for an athlete. Throw adversity into the equation, things change drastically. First, let’s examine exactly what goals are and how adversity affects the … [Read more...] about Expectations vs. Goals for Athletes
Letting Go of Expectations Have you ever been so frustrated with a lack of improvement and not reaching your expectations that training and practicing just doesn’t seem worth the time and effort? At times you feel like walking away from competing just because you feel so burned out or lack enthusiasm? Sports can be demanding, but some athletes increase those demands by putting excessive … [Read more...] about How to Avoid Burnout and Dropout in Sports
How to Have Stable Confidence Do you buy into the negativity from other people? Do you lose confidence when others critique your game? Just this week, I received a message from a soccer player who said: "I'm often challenged mentally during practice if a teammate tells me how I can't do a certain thing, such as properly marking my opponent. I end up questioning my ability to do so, … [Read more...] about Athletes Who React Poorly to Criticism
How to be Mentally Prepared on the Bench One of the most challenging situations for athletes is knowing you're good enough to start, be on a relay team, get more playing time, or make a travel squad yet you are not given an opportunity by the coach. Not getting a chance to contribute to a team can erode confidence. And confidence is the very thing you need when it's time to show others you … [Read more...] about Are You Good Enough to Start on Your Team, but Don’t?
How to Stay Relaxed before a Competition “I feel like I’m going to be sick to my stomach.” Have you ever had this feeling prior to a competition? Have you ever been so anxious that you feel physically sick in the locker room before a game or competition? For some athletes, this feeling repeats itself as they carry it into each competition. This anxiety can hurt your performance because … [Read more...] about Coping with Pregame Anxiety
How to Approach an Important Competition Do you wish you could play BIG in BIG moments? All athletes want to come up BIG in BIG moments such as: The gymnast who hopes to nail her routine in a championship meet.The golfer who dreams of sinking a birdie putt to win a golf tournament.The basketball player who wants to sink the final shot to win a playoff game.The baseball reliever who dreams … [Read more...] about BIG Competitions Mindset for Athletes
How to have a Champion Mindset for every Competition There are no guarantees in sports. Being the top-seed does not guarantee victory… Being ranked higher than your opponent doesn’t guarantee winning… Having a faster seed time entering a competition doesn’t mean you are assured winning a title… Being the defending champion does not guarantee a repeat. Yet so many top-seeds suffer … [Read more...] about Why Top-Seeded Teams Lose
Are you Successful under Pressure? Each individual athlete responds to pressure in his/her own way. Kobe Bryant stated he played his best when the pressure was on, "Everything negative – pressure, challenges – are all an opportunity for me to rise." Brazilian soccer star Neymar Jr. implied he doesn’t feel pressure, “There is no pressure when you’re making a dream come true.” Younger … [Read more...] about How UVA Handled Pressure Successfully
The Underdog Mindset in Sports The definition of underdog is a team or individual that has a small chance of winning a competition. Here are a few examples when you may be considered the underdog: Playing against an undefeated team this seasonCompeting against higher ranked or seeded opponentPlaying against a team that you have never beatenCompeting against physically stronger or faster … [Read more...] about How to Thrive as an Underdog in Sports