As I shared in past writings, gaining an edge on the competition can take on many points of focus. One can improve their strength, agility, skills, and speed. However, one of the skill sets that often gets overlooked is that of the MIND. I realize that the reason is often a lack of understanding of what it means, along with some MYTHS that cloud one's understanding keeping them at a distance from the experience. I am writing about some myths because if that is the reason why you have not pursued this work I want to attempt to take away that barrier.
Myth 3: Doing MENTAL SKILLS work will be boring, painful, and a waste. I can do this on my own by just trying harder and being more positive.
If you talk to the people I work with, you will find that some started with this very thought. It was not too long before their Mental Skills work became their absolute FAVORITE part of training. It was INSPIRING, INSIGHTFUL, ENCOURAGING, HELPFUL, and maybe most importantly, SO BENEFICIAL!
Myths are beliefs that guide our thinking and behavior that may contain partial truth while also containing misguided information.
When I was growing up my mom would tell me I could not go swimming after dinner because I would drown from immediate cramping. For many years I thought that eating and swimming were dangerous only to find out that it was not true. I could now eat and the jump in the water! FREEDOM.
I suspect that we all have hooked our wagons to mythical beliefs only to uncover or find out the error of our ways. When myths are uncovered, it is because a NEW TRUTH that dispels that myth is learned or discovered through experience. My purpose for writing about myths and mental skills training is to bring new and fresh information to you in a manner that helps open up new roads of understanding. When this happens, you just may uncover something that could help you reach new heights of living and performance.
Myth 1: You have to be struggling to benefit from mental skills...
One evening I got a call from a young athlete that had tried out for a specific team, and he was struggling to understand why he did not make the team. With great frustration and anger, he detailed for me all the work he did and how angry he was that the work did not seem to make a difference. As is often the case, I dug a bit deeper to understand what was truly fueling his intensity. He went on to describe how many of his friends would be on the team and how sad he was to miss out on those experiences. I replied; “Is there anything else that is hard for you?” He then said; “I know my dad is really disappointed in me. He told me that I needed to work harder to keep improving rather than play video games.”
I have had this type of conversation too many times to count.
Tryouts bring with them fear, anxiety, anger, frustration, joy, relief, and uncertainty.
This blog is not designed to be about the fairness, or lack of it in youth sports, although there might be...
Some months ago I was talking with a young athlete, and I asked him how things were going for him. His response was, “I DONT KNOW.” To most people this response would be a dead end and the conversation would have moved on to something else.
Not this time!
I continued to explore with him what “not knowing” meant. My next question was, “Does 'I don’t know' mean you don’t know how to describe how it is going?" With immediate tears, he said, “YES.”
This experience opened my eyes to the reality that many young athletes are living with deep disappointment, discouragement, and despair without the words to describe their reality. This has emerged as a trend as I have worked individually with young athletes. Much of their experience leaves them confused, frustrated, and without direction.
Recently, I spoke to a young athlete that expressed to me his deep desire to succeed, but with frustration and anger he said, “I have no idea what...
CULTURES OF CARE = WINNING EXPERIENCES
Over the years I have been paying attention! I realize that this statement is quite vague on the surface. One could easily ask, “What have you been paying attention to?” The answer is what provides the clarity and understanding.
What I have learned over 30 years of working in the personal development field is this: what we “pay attention” to is what determines how we think, act, and live. If we have trained ourselves to notice what is lacking, wrong, insufficient, frustrating, or problematic then we are focused on all the information that supports these principles.
I want to suggest that the danger in our focus is not simply WHAT we are focusing on. Maybe the bigger danger is what we are NOT focusing on.
Let me explain. For the better part of 18 years, I have dedicated myself to learn and pass on the most advanced science on what unleashes HIGH PERFORMANCE for athletes, individuals, business professionals, and others...
I often get calls that start off like this, “Shaun my son/daughter is really having a tough time this year. EVERYTHING has changed.” They continue by stating, “Something is off.” They conclude by saying, “I do not know what to do to help! Can you help?”
This is truly a difficult spot for a parent to find themselves. Knowing that your kid is struggling and not knowing why or what you can do to help is truly disturbing and a bit scary as well.
This experience has become far too common and as a result, it is going to be the focus of this blog to help give perspective, guidance and some encouragement to those that might be dealing with this currently or in the future. We can all learn something.
Every player that I have worked with over the years WANTS TO DO WELL AND PLEASE THE COACHES they have. Hopes are high, motivation is strong, and most of the time they have invested significant time and energy to perform well. What often transpires moving...
There isn’t a day in my coaching practice where a question about confidence doesn’t come up.
Confidence is often seen as the CORE DEFICIT when performance is sub par.
I have never heard an athlete say, “Shaun, I am playing really poorly but my confidence is in tact.”
This leads me to think that many understand confidence to be only present when one is playing well and absent when performance is sub par. Therefore, when performance drops confidence drops with it.
Confidence must be understood differently for it to be of great value.
So, what is a better way to think of confidence?
Watch my Building Unshakable Confidence Coaching Video for greater understanding!
To begin I offer this definition of confidence:
Confidence is the belief that one generates concerning their ability to be successful in their arena of performance.
I want to emphasis that for confidence to be present it must be generated from within the individual. Nobody, no matter how well meaning,...
“The trauma that results when coaches over step the boundaries of human decency and respect.”
We have become INCREASINGLY aware and sensitive to the dangers of concussions over the last couple of years. Professional sports is implementing increased protocols in an effort to protect their players as they should. Traumatic brain injuries, as many know, debilitate the functioning of the brain and therefore ends up forever affecting the quality of life for the one affected as well as those around them. We all know that prevention is the key.
There are certainly no shortage of concussions in youth sports. I am glad that greater awareness is paving the way for preventing and protecting more youth sport athletes.
However, there are “BRAIN INJURIES” that our young athletes are encountering with little to no intervention or treatment. These injuries often come in the form of coach/athlete interactions. Often through simple observation you can attend any youth sporting...
Like many, I am fascinated with the formula for SUCCESS. I realize that success has different meanings depending on the source. However, for the sake of this piece I am simply looking to understand a formula for living with purpose, resulting in something being produced, fueled by passion, and challenges our potential.
Simply stated, success might be be defined as living purposely to produce an outcome motivated by passion to realize our potential.
Isn’t this why we pour hours of energy into a sport, career, relationship, hobby?
Are we not truly desiring to have purpose and intention in our living?
Do we not want to see results from our efforts in the form of some outcome?
Are we not trying to live with passion and motivation so we can sustain ourselves through the challenging times?
Are we not also curious about what we are capable of and truly seek to tap into the deep potential that lives often latently in the depths of our being?
I want to suggest that there are 3...
We ask ourselves questions all the time. Most of these questions start with the word WHAT.
“What should I wear today?”
“What should I say when asked a question?”
“What should I eat?”
We also ask ourselves, “WHAT IF?”
This often leads us to a series of memories that plant us right in the past regretting something we did leading to feelings of inadequacy or shame. I find that the questions that we ask ourselves inevitably shape our perception, perspective and framework for experiencing life.
Questions aim our thinking, awareness and focus.
This morning, while doing my daily journaling, I decided to RIFT off of the the question “WHAT IF?” However, the substance of my “what if” was much different.
Here are some examples:
What if my fears are unfounded?
What if 10 seconds of courage in a relationship could transform it forever?
What if my beliefs about myself are mistaken?
What if my assumptions are unfounded?