Mindset Training for Athletes: Attitude is Everything
Most of you reading this understand or have heard about the importance of ones attitude. Often when we think of attitude we think of good versus bad, or positive versus negative. Both of which are important, but what do they really mean? If we just have a positive attitude and think good thoughts does this help us do what needs to be done? Perhaps it does, but sometimes maybe it doesn't. I think like many things more clarity needs to be brought to the idea around attitude and what that really means.
Out of everything in your control this one can never be taken away, and thus creates a form of freedom. The freedom to choose your attitude in any circumstance. The freedom to choose your own way, and how you want to respond and make decisions every moment of every day. It is our ability to choose that creates the freedom. Too often we look at what we can't do anything about. The circumstance, and the people within it. I have fallen prey to this myself, and it is something I see in many of my clients. The thing that creates much of their own mental strain and sucks a lot of energy out of them.
So what does this look like? As I mentioned before, like all things clarity is key. You need to be clear within yourself how you want to handle the situations, people and circumstances that come your way. To really have a clear intention of who you want to be in those moments. This goes beyond saying I just want to be positive or have a good attitude. Those concepts are vague and will make it harder for you to actually do. Our attention follows our intentions. So the more clear our intentions the better we are at focusing and paying attention in the way we need to in order to be the person we want to be. Self awareness then become key.
Something to keep in mind is that while you can choose your attitude it is not about denying any pain or emotions that come along with the situations and people. It is okay to feel grief, pain, disappointed, frustrated, or overwhelmed. This is about honoring ourselves in that moment while also knowing how we want to show up in a moment. To show up with our values in a way that doesn't deny the real pain or emotions that are created by a situation or system.
Great example of this in sports and most things, is the political system that is in place. In the world of sports politics is a huge part of the equation. It is unfortunate, and hopefully with time gets better and athletes are seen from a more human perspective. However, for the time being this is the reality. The system of sports is very painful at times, and can create a slew of emotions that go along with it for athletes. What you feel as you deal with the system that is in place needs to be honored, as I mentioned early. However, you must also accept this is apart of the whole package of playing your sport, and instead of letting the system and people within it, influence how you handle it, you can gain freedom from the choice you make in your attitude. How you want to handle the pain.
"Between stimulus and response, there is a space and in that space is our power to choose our response. " Viktor Frankl.
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