Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Stockdale Paradox

James StockdaleIn any sporting contest there are always many things that can go wrong on the field. In fact, the list of negative outcomes is significantly greater than the list of positive outcomes in most situations. Most people only feel confident when their current environment (winning, playing a weaker team), and their recent experience (previous at bat, last serve) indicate that a peak performance is likely.

The truth is that confidence is always a Continue reading

The Breathfast Sandwich

Breathfast sandwichMany people lose themselves to their emotion in the heat of competition. This emotion can fuel you, creating a peak performance, or it can be detrimental to your goals, causing you to react irrationally and forcing you to lose focus. Maintaining composure through positive and negative situations on the field will keep you consistent in your play. When something happens on the field, athletes make an emotional response. For example, if a ref were to make a terrible call that influences the game negatively for your team, an emotional response may be to scream at the ref and play with too much anger and tension. A positive emotional response may be that you have a wide open shot on the court and the rush of excitement causes you to shoot too quickly before taking aim at the hoop.

What Is Confidence?

Confidence

Confidence.

What is confidence? What does it look like? What does it feel like?

Confidence is an unshakeable, and unstoppable belief in oneself based upon positive and powerful actions, preparation, and effort.

Confidence is the rejection of fears, doubts, and haters.

Confidence is building up others, and rejoicingin a peer’s success.

Confidence is refusing to tear others down, and detract from their well-earned victories.

Confidence is knowing that we must never lose the hunger to achieve and improve. Confidence is striving for achievement – yet acknowledging that imperfection is normal, and beautiful.

Confidence is repeating the mantras of, “I can. I will. I am. I believe.”

Confidence is the banishment of misgiving, suspicion, and disbelief.

Confidence is focusing on ourselves, even when it is uncomfortable to do so.

Confidence is allowing outside distractions to Continue reading

Staying composed is no yolk

EggBeing composed is like being a hard-boiled egg. If you drop a hard-boiled egg, the outer shell might crack, but the egg stays the same shape.   Similarly, if an athlete experiences something upsetting such as making a mistake on the playing field, and yet they are able to shake it off and not let it interfere with their performance. Composure is being calm and in control. For some this may mean ignoring insults from your opponents or not putting your head down after missing a shot on goal. It is important to remember that being in control comes from within each individual. Responding positively under stressful circumstances is composure in an “egg-shell.” Continue reading

Focus

focusJust do it

Don’t think just play

Be in the moment

These are all ways of saying focus!

Focus is simply the ability to block out distractions from the past, the future, or even the present. There are many things that could cause an athlete to lose focus during an event or practice.

Embarrassment or looking dumb. This would be a present moment factor that would cause an athlete to lose focus.

Past mistakes. Many athletes begin to think about something they have done wrong when a similar situation arises. Staying focused on the current process and mechanics will give them the best opportunity for success.

Future outcomes. Athletes tend to drift off in thought about the things that will happen as a result of their actions, which causes them to lose focus and denies them the ability to master their task to the best of their ability. Continue reading