Measure Your Success By Your Effort

Footwork Makes You Smarter

Monday, September 19, 2011

Are You Getting In The Mental Weight Room - If Buddha Was A Baller Part II

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.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Are You Getting In The Mental Weight Room - Part I

There is an increasing focus on sports psychology as we look for any edge to become more competitive, more focused, more confident. It is unclear how much of our minds we use, but we do know there are untapped resources. Stories of chips being inserted in to quadriplegics’ brains so they can navigate computers, and stories of the Backster Effect, where a persons emotional state can have an effect on their own cells even after they are removed from their bodies are just a couple of examples.
There is no doubt that emotions and mental strength can separate the good from the great. In the next few blogs, I will explore some of theories / methods that you can use to help you achieve a mental edge when competing.
Just as there are numerous overlapping training principles when building your body;
1. Individual differences
2. Overcompensation
3. Overload
4. Specific adaptations to imposed demands
5. Use/Disuse
6. Specificity
7. General adaptation syndrome
there are equally as many principles to consider when refining your mental edge

1. Drive Theory
2. Inverted U Hypothesis
3. Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning
4. Multidimensional anxiety theory
5. Catastrophe Model
6. Reversal Theory
7. Anxiety direction and intensity

The scope of the following Mental Weight Room Blogs will not go into too much detail of the above principles, but rather try to give some practical approaches to increasing your mental edge.

I think the most important principles to keep in mind are the Individual Differences Principal and Individual Zones of Optimal Functioning. Both of these principals take into account that we all have different genetic blueprints, and therefore we will have different response and adaptations to both exercise and levels of anxiety and arousal. The sports we play or even the position we play may also play a role.

Look for the next Mental Weight Room Blog: If Buddha Was A Baller (What we think, we become)