It has been a while since I have gotten to post one of my articles! Here is a recent one that I hope makes a big difference!
Do you go for too much, kick yourself and then do it again?
Are you ever less consistent and make more errors in competition than in practice?
Ever have a hard time choosing the right shot or thing to do when playing?
If so, you are in the trap of doing too much and this article is for you!
In completive sports, everyone wants to win, a lot. It is easy to get up against a strong opponent, size them up and decide that they are good. Maybe even better than you. Familiar? When this happens, the common and automatic way to try to beat this opponent is to try harder and give it more. GRRR!!! When this happens, we often get in the trap of trying to do too much.
We see the opponent, and they’re very good. We think, “It’s going to take a lot to win this one.” So then we start to go for too much. We try and hit the ball harder, closer to the lines and do things that are not necessarily in our game plan.
So what happens? We make more errors, we lose points, and we shoot ourselves in the foot.
If this is familiar, be proud. You’re not the only one.
Now that we know the trap, what keeps us stuck in the trap?
What Keeps Us Stuck
It comes from a few possible and similar underlying notions that are hidden from our immediate view.
1) There is something wrong with my game – there is a problem with my game, it is bad in some way. This could apply to your whole game or specific parts of it.
2) I am unable – I can’t win this, beat this person/team.
3) My game isn’t good enough - what I have, my skill, my experience… just are not sufficient or enough to win here.
What is going on in our heads give us our actions. Because these notions have been our focus, what we end up doing is compensating by going for too much, trying to play beyond our abilities and in the end, blow the game or match.
None of these notions will help you win, and they certainly erode any mental toughness or completive advantage you have. The most useful thing to do from here is to recognize which one(s) is/are most relevant to you. As a side note- these are natural and common notions people have with regards to their abilities in sports let alone other areas of life, and are not necessarily true.
Now that we see that this has been our focus (although hidden from our immediate view) what there is to do is choose to give that notion up, and focus on something that will actually give you peak performance and contribute to your mental toughness. Again, this could be your game plan, being aggressive, excellence or exploiting a weakness. You choose, just make sure that it is interesting to you.
Now that we have broken it down, what there is to do is engage in the mental training that it takes to grow your mental strength. So when you find yourself matched up against an opponent that is really good, or catch yourself trying to do too much, give up the notion that is keeping you stuck. Then shift your focus away from that and to something that WILL have you play great!
Gemini Mental Toughness Training