Mental Strength Training for Athletes: Feeling Good Versus Performing Good
We all want to perform good, but is that the same thing as feeling good? When I have a client tell me they didn't perform well, I will ask them first what they think contributed to their performance that led to a lower level than they wanted or think they are capable of. Most of the time the initial response I get in return is "I don't know, I felt good." It is important to understand performing good and feeling good are two separate things. You can perform good when you feel good, but also when you don't. You can perform bad when you feel good or when you don't. If you let your feelings dictate your performance, then your performance will be all over the place, and you need to learn to move beyond the feelings and understand what you need to do in order to perform well, regardless of how you feel.
So what do I mean by this. Well you need to be able to analyze both your good and not so good performances, in a manner in which you look at factors that are in your control that contribute to your good and not so good performances. This usually happens in formal reflection time, looking at and asking yourself certain questions. Some example questions would be 1. Was I prepared well enough? 2. Was I mentally ready? 3. Did a focus through the distractions? 4. If I got distracted how well did I refocus? 5. Did I free myself to connect fully with my performance? At the end of each question whether you answered yes or no, ask your self why. You might need to ask five layers of why to get to the underlying answer.
The difference between good and great is very small, and usually comes down to the details. You might have had a good level of preparation, but was it good enough? Or did you maybe overly prepare? We can always get better at refocusing and blocking out distractions, so understanding what caused you to be distracted or not be able to refocus fast enough is important. We want to find the things that we can control within our performance. The only four things we can control are attitude, effort, thoughts and actions.
If you are not performing as you would like then there is something to be learned and understood further as to what you need to work on to be better mentally. If you get complacent with your mental game and understanding of it, then you will see your performance suffer or you just won't fully reach your true potential. Things may not be going bad, but are you performing up to your potential? That is the question.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification