Using Intimidation to Your Advantage
“The intimidation factor” is commonplace in competition. Some athletes will seek to get a mental edge by taking you out of your game.
Intimidation takes many forms such as:
–Trash talking before a game
–A brush-back pitch to shake up a hitter
–An extra shove after a whistle was blown
–Stare-downs or crazy antics
No matter what intimidation is used, the goal is the same… To try to get in your head and take your focus away from the game.
When you give into intimidation, you become agitated, angry and anxious which eats away at your confidence.
If you focus on the antics of a rival then you are not attending to what you need to do to perform at your peak.
Intimidation challenges an athlete’s level of mental toughness.
One thing to remember… If you can learn the power of focus, you can turn a fellow competitor’s attempt at intimidation to work in your favor.
Intimidation exists in every sport and was visibly on display in the ready room prior to the semi-final heat of the 200 butterfly in Rio.
Defending Olympic champion, Chad le Clos, tried his best to intimidate and gain a psychological advantage over his rival, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time.
Le Clos shadowboxed in front of Phelps as the two were mentally preparing for their semi-final showdown.
PHELPS: “I just had music going on in my head. I had thoughts going on in my head, spitting water a little bit all over the place, so I was in my own zone.”
Phelps was stoic as he stared forward and listened to his headphones. At one point, Phelps couldn’t help but notice le Clos’ antics, but Phelps used the intimidation as motivation.
Phelps used the intimidation attempt to fuel his performance rather than allowing his emotions to run wild.
PHELPS: “There was so much emotion and so much build up for that race. I don’t want to say it’s revenge, but that’s what it was. There wasn’t a shot in hell I was losing that race and if I did I was leaving everything in the pool.”
Not only did Phelps win the semi-final, beating le Clos by over a second. He went on to take the gold medal winning the final by 4-hundredths of a second.
Intimidation exists because it works for some, but as Michael Phelps proved, it doesn’t have to work on you.
How can you turn intimidation into motivation?
First, you should realize that your opponent sees you as a threat or there would be no need for them to seek an edge through intimidation.
Second, you need to pay attention to getting ready to compete at your highest level. What is your game strategy? What should you focus on in that moment? Go through your pre-competition routine.
Lastly, if your opponent sees that their antics are not working, soon those antics will lessen or stop.
Tips for turning intimidation into motivation:
Focus your eyes away from the distraction. Pick a neutral point in the athletic environment or, if you can, close your eyes and listen to music or review your game strategy.
Next, remind yourself that you have the edge because your opponent definitely views you as a threat. Let your opponent burn out their energy while you maintain a sense of calmness.
Improve Concentration in Sports Today!
No matter how hard you try to focus, does your mind wander to other things, which cause you to make more errors?
Do you focus so much on the outcome of the game and who will win that you cant play in the present moment?
Do you think so much about your competition and how fast or strong they look that you are unable to focus on the real task or your own performance?
Check out our program, The Focused Athlete!
The Focused Athlete CD and workbook program is a 14-day plan for superior concentration. This program is ideal for any athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in comeptition, or wans to learn more about how to focus better under pressure..
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying?
“I enjoyed ‘The Confident Athlete Series’ very much. I particularly liked the format, the ease of the program, and the 2 CDs that accompanied the workbook – 10-20 minutes a day was simple to adhere to and put in my busy schedule. I love the part about confidence with grace, and what I want to portray and feel the minute I step foot into Los Angeles for nationals. I love the affirmations, the relaxation techniques, and just the entire perspective of the program.”
~Sarah, US National Aerobic Gymnastics Team
“I just finished ‘The Confident Athlete Program‘. Improving confidence is a never ending process. I think that confidence boosting is an awesome area. Having a daily mental plan for mental “work outs” can turbo charge anyone’s confidence level…. Studying almost all of Dr. Cohn’s mental game materials gives me a real EDGE over my competitions and most importantly – a boost in my daily life.”
~Radek Sefcik, peaksports.com member
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 really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach
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?
“WOW!!! What a week I had. I was able to perform with a confidence that allowed my style to shine through–no more entering the arena with that “deer in the headlights” look or feeling. I stopped evaluating myself while I was performing, and I actually left the arena after my patterns feeling like I had experienced a lot of fun. Thank you so much.”
~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian