How To Build Mental TOUGHNESS
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Uploaded on Nov 29, 2011
How to build mental toughness http://www.mentaltoughnesstrainer.com
Why do athletes get performance anxiety?
The answer is different for each athlete, but it usually boils down to this...
Thinking about something bad or negative that could happen in the future causes anxiety and our bodies to respond as if we were in real physical danger!
To get the athletes out of that fear, I ask questions like, "If you don't win this upcoming match, will you lose all your friends? Your home? Will you be begging on the streets for food?
This gets them laughing and weighing the importance they placed on the match and how much they have worked themselves up with nothing more than a thought that isn't even reality.
Then I follow it up with, "ok, then what are you really afraid of that might happen if you lose or choke?"
Most worry they will "fail" and look stupid. So I ask, "What is failure?"
As I keep asking these types of questions, they begin to realize what they are really afraid of is feeling difficult emotions like embarrassment, disappointment, inadequacy, etc.
So the truth is athletes get performance anxiety because they are afraid of feeling their difficult emotions.
How do you help athletes get over performance anxiety and develop mental toughness then?
What athletes need to do is embrace their difficult emotions by understanding that all emotions are good and useful.
Yes, you heard me right, all emotions are useful...they are nothing more than a signal from our body trying to get us to act on something important.
Most coaches and even sports psychologist tell athletes to push away those difficult feelings "by just getting out there and doing it" or "tell yourself you are a winner."
But that is like putting a band-aid on a broken arm.
My mental toughness training is unique, because we teach a simple process athletes can quickly go through, whenever they are feeling a difficult emotion like fear, anxiety, or frustration.
Youth sports athletes really build confidence, when they feel ready to handle any difficult situation or emotion that comes up.
That releases the FEAR of disappointment, embarrassment or other emotions that come from losing and then the anxiety disappears.
This is truly unique and different than the way any other mental training is taught and will make a HUGE difference to your athletes in their game and how they handle life!
Why can't, so many athletes, bring their best practice game over to competition?
This is, of course, also about anxiety in their sport.
So in addition to teaching them my process to deal with their emotions, we also teach athletes the best way to use making a decision and commitment to build consistency and take charge of their thinking.
You see, athletes have been told what to do all of their lives by parents and coaches. Teens are just beginning the process of transitioning to thinking for themselves.
Most athletes are not aware that the way they think and the thoughts they think about are a CHOICE.
This may sound simple, but it's very important. Athletes need to realize they have the power to decide what they think and believe.
They develop their mental muscle by conditioning it with repetition and practice -- just like in their physical training.
Once they do that, they can FOCUS on the things that improve their performance.
What is a mental block and how do athletes over come them?
Mental blocks stop an athlete from being able to perform a skill or maneuver they know how to do, but for some reason, just can't perform. Something in their mind holds them back.
This is where coaches and parents get very frustrated, because most of the time they don't know how to help their athlete break through it.
I believe all mental blocks are dissolvable and have successfully done it with 100's of kids.
The solution is to communicate with the body's intelligence, the inner mind, where the block was created.
Guided visualizations work extremely well for this purpose.
Using their imagination, stories, certain language patterns and metaphors reach past surface thinking and connect to what we call the athlete's "power mind" (also known as the unconscious mind).
The blocks are usually created to "protect" the athlete from something. We teach them how to reprogrammed their "power mind" to do it's job of protection in healthy ways that support the athlete.
When you get rid of the interferences, then focus, confidence, determination, and resiliency come more naturally and your athlete will have unbeatable mental toughness.
How to build mental toughness, go here http://www.mentaltoughnesstrainer.com
Visit http://www.teenmentaltoughness.com to download FREE:
"The 10 Commandments For A Great Sports Parent" ebook
and "Master The Pressure" a GAME-CHANGING guided visualization for teen athletes.
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