Mental Training for Peak Performance: Politics and Decisions out of Your Control
In this week's post I wanted to take a look at one of the biggest distractors for athletes. This is the politics that surround the game, and the decisions that are often made due to political aspects that impact an athlete. I wanted to address it because it is one of the biggest things I see with younger athletes that they struggle with. Often times when I talk to a veteran professional athlete they will indicated one of their greatest mental strengths is no longer worrying about the things out of their control, like the decisions a coach makes or organization makes.
The world of sports whether on a professional level or amateur level has a lot of political aspects. I myself dealt with my fair share of political things when I played, and still do to this day now working with teams. When I was the athlete these political aspects impacted the teams I was selected for, whether or not I might have at times been given a fair look for a team, and the decisions a coach made on how much ice time I got. Some of which bothered me and some of which did not.
The things that are often completely out of our control can get to us the most, because we feel there isn't anything we can do about it. To a degree this is correct. Which can be hard to face. The only things you can control are yourself, how you handle the situation, and doing everything in your power to be the best athlete you can be. Now I get that this can cause a lot of frustration, when we feel we have done everything we can and are still not getting the results or decisions we want. One of the hardest realities to sometimes face in sports, is that it isn't always fair, that you can do everything you can, and you still might not be selected or get the playing time you want.
These are sometimes the most difficult conversations I have with clients, because I understand the frustration, and part of that frustration and emotion comes from the part of them that makes them a good athlete. Letting go of focusing on the non controllable elements doesn't mean you don't care, but for your own good you have to learn to let it go, so that you can fully focus and engage in what you can do. No amount of focus on the political elements or frustration will change the situation.
This is where you have to come back to what you can do, and be ready for your opportunity, Whether within the situation you are in or with another team. I had a conversation with one the professional athletes I worked with after he got sent down to the minors for the first time ever. Feeling the organization wasn't being fair, and to a degree he was probably correct. However, we talked about him being the best he can be because other organizations are always watching, and eventually another team did come along and traded for him.
Remember your controllable components comes from the acronym BEAST Mentality™. Behaviors, Effort, Attitude, Self Awareness and Thoughts. These things you can control and help you reach your potential.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Mindfulness Certification
TAIS Assessment Certified