How to Perform Functionally, Not Perfectly
Is perfectionism helpful or harmful to your performance? Do you see perfectionism as a key to your success?
Many top athletes players call themselves perfectionists. You look at these players with admiration and conclude that perfectionism is the way to go to reach your full potential in sport.
Perfectionism does have clear advantages… However, it can hold you back from achieving your potential once all the practice in complete and it’s time to compete.
This athlete was a typical perfectionist with all the classic signs…
All through his young life, his parents put excessive demands on him. His parents’ ultimate objective was to push him to greater heights, an honorable goal.
To do so, his parents never accepted anything less than perfection. In school, a B+ was not good enough. His parents would say, “Why didn’t you get an A?”
In competition, if his opponent made a great save, his parents would look disapprovingly at him for not scoring.
Eventually, the young athlete took on perfection as his goal. He desperately wanted to please his parents and coaches.
After competition, this athlete would mentally replay every mistake he made from the last game. He would get so nervous and fearful of making a mistake that he would make even more mistakes… and the cycle continued after competition.
This is the perfection cycle and it NEVER brings out the best of athletes we work with! Perfection is an impossible standard for any athlete…
The Challenges Associated with Perfectionism:
- Unrealistic expectations.
- Easily frustrated with mistakes.
- Fear of failure and anxiety.
- Performing too safe or cautiously.
- Worry about what others think.
- The need to be seen as a good athlete.
- Underperformance in competition.
No matter what others might say, perfectionism is not the road to performing your best during competition!
Can perfectionism help you master skills? Yes, for sure. It is a good practice mindset. And most perfectionists love to train and improve their skills!
If you learn to perform functionally, you’ll free yourself to play the game intuitively and closer to your potential.
How to Manage Perfectionism in Competition:
First, play functionally, not perfectly. This means getting the job done and not fretting about looking and feeling perfect.
Second, accept that mistakes happen in sports. Don’t have the goal to make zero mistakes in the game. And accept them when you do make them.
Next, work on managing your unrealistic expectations and replace them with more manageable objectives.
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 can’t think clearly because you are so anxious and tense stepping on 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 Confident Athlete workbook programs have worked absolutely wonderfully for me! The quality of my shots has improved 1,000 percent, and my scores are consistently lower, by far! Also, I have a sense of peace, and quality enjoyment of the game that had been sorely missing. I love it! Great work Dr. Cohn! Thank You!”
“My son finished the entire Confident Athlete Program. The CD Program helped TREMENDOUSLY. He used it to keep positive thoughts flowing. He was able to focus on his fight instead of on his negative thoughts. He fought at his very best. We are thankful to God for leading us to your website. The CONFIDENT ATHLETE was perfect.“
~Wanda, Sports Parent
“I have just completed ‘The Confident Athlete and The Focused Athlete’ programs. What a major difference your programs have made to me. I was thinking I wasn’t good enough and almost gave the game up. Your web site was recommended to me by another athlete (a shooter) and was the best thing that happened to my mental game. I started to get excited for the first time in a long while and the program was so much fun to do. These programs really work and I would have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone, (although I don’t want my fellow competitors to know about them).” Thank you so very much for providing a Mental Training Program, which is the best I have come across, having tried many other tapes, books, etc.”
~Peter, New Zealand
“Patrick, with your great instruction on the mental game, I had the best nationals I have ever had. And even more important, I got through the five days relaxed and had fun – a new concept in my life! The bottom line – I got five firsts and one second! Thank you! You are just what I needed.”
~Dennis O’Brien, Swimmer