Be Mentally Prepared to Come Off The Bench
The “next man up” mentality has received a lot of attention in team sports recently.
This mindset refers to a player stepping in off the bench and contributing to the team’s success.
It’s not easy coming off the bench in a middle of competition with little warm-up and quickly
jumping into the flow of competition–and being at your best.
In every sport, teammates expect backup players make a contribution in the middle of a competition at a moment’s notice.
For example, an alternate in a swim relay may be bumped up to swim in the “A” relay at the end of a meet to replace a swimmer who had an asthma attack after her last race…
A bench player on a basketball team may get his number called to replace a player who fouls out in the last few minutes of a close game…
A utility player who has seen little action all year may be called upon to be a pinch runner in an extra inning baseball game…
A backup hockey goalie may be thrown into the third period of a game after the starting goaltender was pulled due to giving up three quick goals.
No matter the scenario, you need to be ready when your team needs you!
Being the “next man” up can be a challenge–especially if you are not mentally ready.
Chances are you are physically ready. You have practiced with the team since the being of the season. You are well-trained.
Minus a little time to warm up before you go in, you are physically prepared for the competition.
The mental part can be the most challenging…
Certain doubts may run through your head, “What if I mess up? I might not get another
opportunity to play. What if I cost my team the game? What will my teammates and coaches think?”
If you’re prepared mentally, then you can make positive contributions to your team…
Just like New England Patriot safety Duron Harmon…
Harmon was called upon in the biggest game of the season, Super Bowl LIII, after an injury knocked his teammate, Patrick Chung, out of the game.
Harmon played just two defensive snaps in the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks prior and now was being called upon to defend against one of the most potent offenses in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams.
Harmon was mentally ready for the challenge and made two impactful plays.
Harmon broke up a pass at the goal line which could have resulted in a tie game and blitzed on a play causing an errant throw that was intercepted.
These two significant plays contributed to the Patriots winning the Super Bowl 13-3.
HARMON: “(My role) changed a lot. I went from just playing on third down a little bit to being out there in critical situations. We always talk about on this team that ‘next man up’ mentality, and I wanted to make sure that I did everything I could to make sure that I played good football in honor of (Chung).”
Harmon’s mental readiness was the key factor in helping him make positive contributions to the success of his team.
You are already familiar with your teammates and their strengths.
You know the game plan or strategy for the competition. You know how to play the game…but those factors do not mean a thing if you are not mentally prepared to come on the bench and compete to the best of your abilities.
Be Mentally Ready When It’s Your Turn To Play:
Prepare as if you were a starter. Take on the mentality that you will be playing.
Practice as if you were a starter. Warm-up as if you were a starter. Mentally ready yourself as if you were a starter.
On the bench, anticipate your number will be called at any time during the game.
Visualize yourself making plays and performing with confidence. Anticipate challenges you might need to cope with and think about how you will overcome each challenge.
That’s not negative thinking! That’s being mentally prepared to anything!
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game. In fact, many athletes struggle with the same problem….
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
Meet with us via Skype, phone, FaceTime, or GoTo Meeting. With today’s video technology, we are able to connect with athletes and coaches all over the globe.
Mental toughness coaching helps serious athletes like you to uncover the beliefs and attitudes that keep you from performing to your potential. You’ll learn mental game strategies to perform at your peak more often, overcoming performance plateaus and lack of consistency
Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
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