How to Develop a Positive Mindset in Sports
After all your training is complete, your mindset is everything when it comes to performing consistently in sports.
Your mindset is the difference between winning and losing.
Your mindset separates average play and next level-performance.
The biggest area affected by your mindset is the way you respond to adversity.
An avoidance mindset focuses on avoiding problems rather than focusing on solutions.
When your mind is focused on problems, more problems ensue such as:
- Intense negative emotions
- Lower confidence
- Loss of focus
- Uncharacteristic mistakes
A negative mindset can be summed up by the statement, “Whatever happened to me?”
A positive mindset can be summed up by the phrase, “Whatever it takes!”
A positive mindset focuses on solutions, therefore, your confidence stays intact and you maintain an even keel emotionally.
A positive mindset centers around, “What can I do?” Rather than, “What can’t I do?” or, “What haven’t I done?”
“Whatever it takes” is the motto adopted by the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 2018 NBA playoffs.
The Cavaliers’ mindset is to focus on doing everything in their power to win which includes high-level preparation, laser focus, aggressive play and doing all the little things that lead to success.
Even after a disastrous 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series, the Cavaliers still were focused on doing whatever it takes to advance in the playoffs.
The Cavaliers understand that there are no easy games in the playoffs, so the team moved on from Game 1 and prepared to battle in Game 2.
Cleveland forward, Kyle Korver, summed up the mentality of the team and their commitment to do “whatever it takes” to swing the momentum in their favor.
KORVER: “Every moment is big in the playoffs. Moments can change games, moments can create a run. So I think that’s on all our minds. If there’s a loose ball, dive on the floor. If you can take a charge, do that. The playoffs are all about scratching. Whatever it takes.”
The Cavaliers “whatever it takes” mindset helped the team fight through a highly contested match up against the Pacers in Game 2 to pull out a 100-97 victory.
Which type of athlete are you?
Are you the type of athlete who is dragged down by thoughts such as, “What has happened to me?”
Or the athlete who has the mindset, “What can I make happen?”
The reality is that your mindset is a choice.
If you want to have a “whatever it takes” mentality, then you need to consciously make the choice to foster those types of positive thoughts.
You need to let go of what has happened and, instead, make things happen.
A positive mindset will not happen automatically.
You need to choose the mindset that enables you to perform at your peak, then, act accordingly.
How to Develop a Positive “Whatever it Takes” Mindset:
Choose a motto for yourself that will highlight a positive mindset…
How do you want to compete under the big lights?
How do you want to play when your game is off?
How do you want to play against tough competition?
Consider this motto as your personal slogan similar to Nike’s, “Just do it.”
Frequently recite your personal slogan to yourself to keep you focused on what you want to make happen.
Related Sports Psychology Articles
- The Mindset for Playing in Tough Conditions
- How Hard Work Translates to Performance
- Overcome Negative Self-talk in Sports
Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!
The Focused Athlete
It’s probably no secret that you have many opportunities to become distracted in sports. Athletes are bombarded with both internal and external distractions everyday in practice and competition. Focused athletes are able to get the most from their skills because they are more efficient with practice and more concentrated in competition. Athletes who lack focus let distractions run wild through their mind and don’t know how to adjust or refocus.
The Focused Athlete was developed for any level coach, parent, or junior to professional athlete who wants to improve performance and gain a competitive edge. It does not matter if you are a fledgling junior athlete; or a seasoned professional, plagued with distractions; or you just wanting to learn how to improve concentration…
“The Focused Athlete” is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course in practice and games!