High Performance Athletes
About three years ago, I interviewed Tim Gallwey, the author of “The Inner Game” series, as I wanted his take on athlete high performance.
Gallwey was a pioneer in mental game techniques in the 1970s. He started as a tennis coach, but realized his ideas applied to way more than sports…
“At the time, I realized that the Inner Game techniques and methodology for learning would apply to many fields other than tennis, golf, and other sports. It would apply in life in general; it would apply in business. But I was mostly focused on sports at the beginning,” Gallwey told me.
He realized early in his coaching career that athletes would over-coach themselves during competition and get in the way of their performance.
“All those instructional thoughts are likely to be behavioral instructions, instructions to the body to perform in a certain way. Simply examples in tennis are get your racket back early or come through from below the ball. And they get much more technical than that.”
Instead he wanted athletes to be aware of their movement, but not command their bodies and trying to force it.
The objective is to let the body learn naturally by what feels good and what works. Words are rather clumsy he says, when it comes to body movement.
But in the competition and the heat of battle, you want to be aware. You want to be aware, and instinctive at the same time.
Gallwey’s approach to competition is to not be so finely focused as you are when you’re in the learning mode and taking instruction.
When you’re in competition, you’re not trying to learn during the competition.
“In competition, you’re steered towards high performance, and it’s best when the mind is quiet and alert. It’s not unconscious. It can be alert, be consciously clear about the play that we’re setting up or that we’re doing, the goal of the action – certain bigger things,” Gallwey said.
He said that three dimensions are important for all athletes: awareness, alertness, and focus. “Three dimensions that are important for all athletes, and one of them is awareness, focus, and relaxed concentration.”
You’ve got to be clear about the reason you’re playing or you’ll fall prey to how do I look to other people, am I getting famous, how do other people see me? That will become more important unless you’re clear of your goal.
“So the three more important things are awareness, commitment, and trust, which is ACT for short. And they belong in a triangle, because your commitment will enhance your focus; your focus will enhance your trust; your trust will enhance your commitment.”
Gallwey’s Inner Game Tips
1. Let go of over-coaching yourself during competition. Instead, you have to trust your body to perform and become a performer.
2. Have a clear intention or awareness of what your goal is and let go of the need to impress others or play well for teammates.
3. Practice to feel the movement and ingrain what you feel. Transfer instructional techniques into simple feelings your body understands easily.
Want to learn more about how to get our of the practice mindset and into the trust mindset? Check out The Fearless Athlete CD program…
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?
“The workbook/CD programs in ‘The Confident Athlete’ are very good. My swimmer has responded very favorably to them. In fact, her father purchased all three programs. You have done a great job consolidating and simplifying the myriad of ideas in sports psychology.”
~Nick Baker, Peak Performance Swim Camp
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 impressed with the willingness and openness of Dr. Cohn to share all of his assets (intellectual, products, etc.) with the MGCP students. You have developed an incredible model/package for mental training. Even though we are paying for your service, you are passing on a legacy built on your contribution to the world of sports. Thank you for that.”
~Tony Melito, MGCP
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?
“I just returned from Rio for the Olympic tryout, the Fearless Athlete 14-day Program helped my greatly. I did not have this help at the Pan Am Games. I wish I did then, thanks again I will be getting more of your programs on line.”
~Tony Maraj, Olympic Athlete