The Importance of Setting Mental Goals Getting to the next level requires that you do something different. I'm certain you've heard the saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.” The same is true for sports. Genetics and talent alone can take you only so far. You have to set mental goals to perform at the next level. For some … [Read more...] about The Mindset to Perform at the Next Level
Sports Psychology Articles
Creating a Plan for Improvement Harsh criticism hurts an athlete but the effect of harsh criticism is doubled when it comes from within the athlete's mind. Harsh self-criticism is the quickest way to shatter confidence. Many times, athletes describe themselves as being their own biggest critic. This mindset is viewed by some in a positive light meaning that this type of athlete pushes to … [Read more...] about How to Stop Being Self-Critical of Your Game
You are More than just an Athlete “Sports is my whole life.” “I live for racing.” “Eat. Sleep. Swim.” Have you ever uttered similar phrases during your athletic career? Too many athletes define themselves based on their sport. They derive self-worth primarily from their sport. And surround themselves with like-minded teammates who are the source of social interaction. When an … [Read more...] about How a Balanced Life Can Help Your Performance
How Athletes can be Mentally Tough What have you done to get an edge over your competition? Athletes have tried all sorts of things to improve performance: supplements, new recovery regimens, athletic diets, improved training methods, increased practice sessions and mental toughness training. All these things can aid athletic performance but there is only one that gives you an edge in … [Read more...] about Mental Toughness in Pressure Situations
Can Nervousness Lead to Choking? Are you an athlete who get overly nervous? Some athletes believe they cannot be successful when they feel nervous, but this might not be the case. Nervous athletes feel like “this is who I am” and believe there is nothing they can do to control their nervousness. So they enter competitions feeling excessively nervous, perform excessively tight and under … [Read more...] about Are you Nervous in Competition?
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?
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
How to Use Pregame "Nerves" to your Advantage Many athletes have misconceptions about the effects of pregame “nerves” before competition sport. *Misconception 1: Elite athletes are NEVER nervous. *Misconception 2: It's the total lack of nerves that cause elite athletes to be successful. *Misconception 3: Elite athletes are born with the capacity to remain 100 percent calm even in the … [Read more...] about Pregame Nerves Facts and Fiction
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