Top Secret To Mental Game Success For All Athletes

Mental Game Success in Sports

Managing Expectations in Sports

What’s my number one formula for success in sports? It includes three parts:

  1. Identify and discard strict expectations or demands.
  2. Replace expectation with high confidence.
  3. Replace expectation with simple objectives.

This is the first lesson I teach to my personal coaching students. Allow me to explain…

After working with 1000’s of athletes, I’ve concluded: that strict or high expectations can destroy confidence.

What the difference between confidence and expectation?

Confidence is based on the strength of the belief in your ability or how strongly you believe in your skills.

Confidence is simply a belief that precedes your performance such as when you see a good shot and feel like you will hit a good shot prior to execution.

Expectations, on the other hand, are judgments and demands that you place on your performance usually about outcomes or game statistics, such as the number of points scored in a game.

But confidence does not demand you perform great, unlike expectations. In addition, a confident athlete does not judge the quality of the performance based on prior strict expectations, results or outcomes.

Thus, expectations are unwritten demands or minimum standards that you have about your performance. They cause you to judge the quality of your performance and outcomes.

Why are expectations so harmful to your confidence? In most cases, if you don’t achieve your expectations, it’s easy to question your ability or lose confidence.

Thus, you want to perform without the mental handcuffs of expectations.

If you have high expectations and low confidence, it’s a recipe for failure. You want to strive for high confidence without the judgments that come with high expectation.

It’s hard for most athletes to let go of expectation. But you can replace expectations with small goals to help you focus on the process…

This is where setting simple objectives comes into theformula.

For example, if you expect to score 20 points and 10 rebounds in a game, this causes pressure and a focus on outcome or stats.

Focusing on simple objectives, such as getting open and taking the shot when you have the opportunity, helps you think about good execution, not outcomes.

That’s the formula or lesson I teach all my students. The first place to start is discard your outcome expectations.

To do this, you have to honestly evaluate what expectations you demand of yourself—or what you think others demand of your performance.

Expectations often come from four areas:

  1. Demands about your score, times, results, or outcome
  2. Demands about the quality of your performance
  3. Demands about your mental game
  4. Demands you feel from others

See the examples below:

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The Confident Athlete

The Confident Athlete Audio

“The Confident Athlete” consists of 2 audio programs that include 14 days of confidence fueling exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal needs.

Let me help you put a stop to the confidence leak. You can learn to have greater levels of confidence in competition than you do in practice by identifying the specific ways you undermine your own confidence and how to convert your practice confidence into COMPETITIVE CONFIDENCE.

“The Confident Athlete” is a ground-breaking system to teach you how to think like a champion and have ultimate self-confidence every time you step on the playing field, court, track, or course. The confident athletes was developed for any athlete – junior to professional –that wants to gain confidence. However, coaches and sports parents can learn how to teach others to perform with ultimate confidence. Use my program if you want to bust a slump or just wanting higher or more consistent levels of self-confidence.

2 thoughts on “Top Secret To Mental Game Success For All Athletes”

  1. I’m a 43 year old stock trader. Being a trader is very much like being an athlete. I had tremendous success for about 12 yrs and then hit a very rough patch. I’m now going on 6 years of extreme struggles. I work hard, I’m committed, I know what to do and usually when to do it but my emotions, attitude and fears have destroyed any chance at success. I am genetically predisposed to anxiety and grew up learning to be negative and risk adverse. Day after day I do my work and prepare to trade the opportunities that will come my way. I tell myself each night and every morning that I am ready to act on my ideas, challenge myself to grow and reap the rewards. Then I sit down to trade and something changes…maybe I pass on a trade that works and I start to regret passing. Maybe I take a small trade and don’;t allow it the proper time to prove itself and accept a quick loss. Most often it’s simply not trusting my intuition and talent and refusing to commit to the risk involved in trading. Inevitably my attitude plummets and I begin brutal self talk…I suck, I’m a disgrace, I’m embarrassing myself and my family etc etc. I bitch and complain to those around me and work myself up into such a tension filled frenzy that concentration becomes difficult. This process has repeated itself over and over for years now. I have tried everything but I cannot seem to make anything work for me. Meditations, trader coaches, Canfield coaching, all the requisite books, psychiatrists, affirmations….you name it I’ve tried it. I understand the concepts yet I am unable to commit to them or to override my self defeating behaviors. I have a great family and a good life yet I am almost always down and frustrated b/c of my trading struggles. My marriage is suffering, my health is suffering…my quality of life overall is a real struggle and I firmly believe it all stems from my trading. I’m reluctant to try new services b/c I have spent countless amounts of money over the years and to this point all it has done is created a divergence for a while…I feel better short term b/c I feel as if I am tackling my issues and then when nothing changes i fade back to disappointment and frustration. Any words, advice etc is much appreciated. Thanks.

  2. I work mostly with athletes, but I do have traders contact me about the mental game of trading. I can probably help via the mental coaching programs. You might also start with The Focused Athlete, which will help you focus on the relevant performance cues instead of worrying about mistakes.

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