Performance Sports Psychology in Action: BEAST Mentality™
There is so much noise and distractions in the world, and all too often it is these things that we focus on and creates a lot of unnecessary stress, anxiety and frustration. The mind is a very powerful tool, and depending on how it is used it can either benefit us greatly or can be to our detriment. Sports psychology is all about lookin to help individuals to perform at their best in everyday situations as well as critical high stakes moments. There are a variety of techniques and strategies out there to help athletes and other individuals looking to perform at their best. There are certain things individuals need to do in order to perform at a high level. There is not much choice in this matter. One of those things is focusing on the things you can control. There are only a few things we each have full control over and the rest we don't. To help the athletes I work with to remember what these are, I created the BEAST acronym.
BEAST stands for Behaviors, Effort, Attitude, Self Awareness and Thoughts. So the BEST Mentality™ is really about having the mentality and mindset of focusing on these things, because when it comes down to it, it is focusing on these things that allow us to implement and utilize the strategies and techniques needed. As I look through all the things I have ever worked on with my clients, they fall under one of these 5 things.
So let's take a bit of a closer look at each of these:
Behaviors: Pretty self explanatory. These are all the things we do within our sport as well as outside of it. Things such as routines, sleeping, icing, meditating, eating, body posture, moving your feet, etc. Your behaviors are very controllable. You may not always feel the best, or be performing at your best, but you can still maintain excellent behaviors. This is something I have found to be very important. Often without realizing it, our behaviors start to shift as we start to feel different or our performance goes down. Which only reinforces how we feel or are performing. For example, I meditate, and for a long time, when I didn't feel as motivated, or more overwhelmed as I normally do, one of the first things to go was my meditation. The issue is that the meditation is going to help pull me back to "normal" a lot faster, but if I stop then it is easy to go down a slippery slope. I would say one of the things I do the best now a days for myself, is the ability to stick to certain behaviors regardless of how I am feeling.
Effort: Also pretty self explanatory. The effort you put in each day in everything you do is under your control. Now the amount you have to give does change. Say you're doing sprints, the amount of energy at the beginning to the end or the training session will be different. However, you can still always give 100% of what you have to give in that moment.
Attitude: This is more than just having a good or bad attitude. This is what mindset and attitude do you need for what you are doing. What attitude do you need to have around making mistakes, not getting as much ice time, not making a team or just simply the attitude you need to be at your very best. Do you need a loose and light attitude or more of an aggressive attitude?
Self Awareness: This one governs the rest, and as you learn more about the behaviors you need, the attitude you need and the thoughts that go through your heard, the more aware you become. We have to be aware of ourselves, who we are, our tendencies so that we can change them. Self awareness is very important, and we need to spend time to develop this within ourselves so that we can be the person and athlete we want to be.
Thoughts: What kind of thoughts usually go through your head, what stories you tend to make up? Can you bring your thoughts to the present moment, on task relevant things? Or do you let the negative mind take over? Neutral thinking as opposed to positive thinking is key to helping us perform.
So when things might not be going in the manner in which you want, or your wonder what you can to do help yourself, look at these five things and invest it understanding what you need and then making sure you follow through. Trust me there will never be and end point to understanding yourself and how to get the most out of yourself.
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