Buddha said “What we think, we become”. Self-talk is the the way our mind does business. This self-talk can be created by you or by others on a daily basis. So why wouldn’t you want to control this process to your benefit?
The latest studies show that the average person has between 2500 and 3500 thoughts per day, each of which is 12 to 14 seconds long. Top athletes have only 1500 thoughts per day. The reason top athletes have fewer thoughts is related to their ability to be more controlled and focused with their thoughts.
These same studies reveal that the average person spends 90% of their thinking on yesterday or tomorrow, where athletes hone their focus on being in the moment.
Learn to script your internal dialogue, but using affirmations. It is important that the affirmations ring true to you.
You can use different methods, or combinations of methods to help influence your consciousness. You could:
1. write your affirmations in a journal
2. you can recite the affirmations to yourself either aloud or in your mind
3. you can tape the affirmations and listen to them
4. write the affirmations on cards and place them where you will read them daily
To make the affirmations even more effective, you should couple the affirmations with mental visualization using as many of the five senses that are appropriate. To really cement the affirmations you should couple the affirmation with emotional feelings. Using both senses and emotional connection can really put you in the moment. If the moment happens to be trying to achieve being in the zone, then you stand a better chance of getting there by combining these methods.
You should create your own affirmations. They should be suitable for your personality and sport, but here are some examples to get you started.
1. I am on top of my game.
2. The more I practice the better I get.
3. I am improving every day.
4. I learn from mistakes.
5. I stay calm.
6. I play from a state of focus.
7. I learn from watching other players.
8. I feel confident during my game.