Lessons from Mahomes Winning Mindset

Lessons from Mahomes Winning Mindset

Why do some athletes seem to have a winning mindset when games extend into overtime?

Is it possible to change your mindset, or is an athlete’s mindset primarily genetic?

You can probably run off several athletes’ names who just seem to perform at a higher level during overtime. Athletes like LeBron James, Patrick Mahomes, Breanna Stewart, and Alex Ovechkin seem to play their best when the game is on the line.

How did these elite athletes craft a mindset that gives themselves and their teams a mental advantage in overtime games?

First, clutch athletes understand that mindsets are chosen and developed. When athletes recognize that mindsets are not biological but buildable, they can seek strategies to perform better under pressure.

Next, clutch athletes focus on what they want to happen. Athletes who under perform in overtime try to avoid making mistakes. Since they fear making costly mistakes, they become anxious and uptight, so they play it safe. 

In contrast, clutch athletes focus on making plays. They are excited, focused, and aggressive during overtime. They are confident in their ability to perform, enabling them to take calculated risks and go for the win.

Finally, clutch athletes quickly forget mistakes and missed opportunities. What happened yesterday or past games no longer matters to them, nor does it change how aggressively they will compete in their next game.

When you develop an optimal overtime mindset, you will feel prepared and confident to compete during overtime. In addition, your mind will be focused on making plays instead of making mistakes.

The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVIII by beating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named Super Bowl MVP for his clutch play when the game was on the line. 

In overtime, Mahomes led the Chiefs 75 yards down the field, converting on fourth-and-1 and third-and-1 for the winning drive.

Mahomes had a singular mindset during overtime, and that was to make plays and win the game.

MAHOMES: “Our mindset was: Go win the game right here. Once we got that ball — we fell short in regulation. We’re not going to do that again. We’re going to go out there and win the game.”

Notice that Mahomes was focused on what he wanted to do, “Go out there and win the game.”

Performing in overtime is no different than competing during regulation time. It is your mindset that is the difference-maker. 

Becoming a peak performer in overtime is within reach for you if you dedicate time and effort to building the right mindset.

Think about athletes who perform at their peak in clutch moments. Identify 3-5 characteristics that exemplify how these clutch athletes perform (for example, composed, highly confident, mentally tough, aggressive, energetic, etc.).

Next, create a mental training plan for how you will work on these skills in practice and at home. If you are committed, you will take advantage of the available resources to become a clutch performer.

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