I love being a sport psychologist. Getting to work with footballers, golfers and competitors from all sports is a dream come true. I love the fact I get to help other people pursue their dreams and help them get a little bit better at what they do. Here’s a few pointers to help you get to know how good your performance psychology is:
Are you Self-Aware?
Do you know what you do when you’re at your best? Do you know what you think when you’re at your best. Do you know the differences between your best and your worst performances in terms of your thinking, feelings and behaviours?
A difference between champions and mere mortals is self-awareness. Champions are so because they know themselves intimately. They know their frame of mind when they excel and they know the small behaviours they display when they find high performance.
If you aren’t self-aware it’s tough to build confidence. If you’re not self-aware it’s tough to develop your game. How can you improve if you don’t know what needs improving in the first place? Self-awareness is a skill all sports competitors must develop.
Do you Cover the Inches?
There is a difference between over-complication and thoroughness. Champions don’t make their sport difficult and over-bearing, but they do break their sport down into basic components and strive to super charge those components during training.
If you’re not covering the detail then it’s likely you won’t become a champion. It’s likely you’ll fall at the first hurdle or eat humble pie at the first bend. It’s unlikely you’ll come flying through on the back straight.
Know exactly what it is you need to work on. This requires a microscopic look at the fine detail of your game. When you discover what needs developing avoid panic, Relax! Enjoy improving these micro areas…and you’ll get macro results as a consequence.
Can you Build Confidence?
Confidence isn’t some super natural fairy tale quality that comes and goes like the wind. It needs to be built piece by piece from the ground up. It needs to be considered daily. It needs to be worked on daily.
How? Commit to learning the sources of your confidence. If a source is to spend 5 minutes a day remembering you competing at your best then do so…forever. If a source is to work out in a specific way…then do so, everytime. If a source is to execute a pre-performance routine…then do so…religiously.
Know your sources of confidence and commit to them every minute, every hour, every day, every month, every year for your competitive life.
How Well do you Focus?
If you get distracted easily and you don’t know how to deal with it, or if you get distracted easily and you brush this problem…then I suggest you go get a new job or hobby.
Focus is a critical essential. Focus is chapter one of your mindset playbook.
If you fail to focus effectively in training or practice then it’s unlikely you’ll build skill quickly. It’s unlikely you’ll take on board strategy. It’s unlikely you’ll be a great team mate. There is no way you’ll be a strong leader.
If you fail to focus effectively on the pitch, the course or the court then you’ll never perform with consistency (apart from consistently letting yourself and your team mates down).
Learn how to SPOT distraction, STOP distraction and SHIFT back to the task at hand. Learn how to do this with extreme speed.
That is great football psychology. It’s great golf psychology. And it’s great sport psychology.