What's the secret to high performance?
Everyone wants and edge when it comes to sports performance, to find some secret weapon that they can use to elevate themselves beyond the rest. However there is no secret to high performance.
Athletes who perform at a high level have gotten there not because of some secret but because they know the best way to approach the work they will need to do. They practice more effectively through deeper/intense practice and with more focus then the rest. They also know what methods and tactics they need to apply for themselves to get their.
It is not just about how much you practice but how you practice and prepare. I was working with one of my clients this week and asked how he prepares himself every time he approaches the plate to hit in baseball. When I asked him how he created his routine/preparation he said because someone else he knows does it that way. It is important to understand that how we do things needs to match us, we can't make decisions just because someone else does it. What works for another is not necessarily the right fit for you. It may help but great athletes know the most effective way to get the most out of themselves.
One of the keys to consistent high performance is self awareness, knowing how to be as effective as possible. Ask yourself do you know the best times for you to practice? Do you know how to focus the way you need to deepen your practice level? Do you know that quality is better then quantity? Are you simply focused on how much you practice rather than how you practice?
Going back to my client who is the baseball player, we have talked a lot about his hitting strategies, what he is looking for from his hitting and how he tries to get there. One of the things we have talked about in length is creating game like conditions in his batting practice. Before he would always practice fast balls. Just to get the feel for hitting, but in a game there are two other options a pitcher has. He never practiced having to identify which pitch is coming and how to adjust accordingly. He also was getting pitches much slower in practice then what he sees in a game. It makes it hard to hit consistently and to the level you want when your practice does not reflect what you need in a game. So think about how you practice and does it line up with the skills you need in a game situation?
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification