Sports Mental Coaching for Athletes: The Importance of Being Specific
Last week I was talking to a client about his production levels. He had dropped off considerably over the last month, compared to what it had been early on in the season. His role on the hockey team he is on is to score and get assists and that wasn't really happening. At first he and his team were getting back from being off for a couple weeks due to Covid protocols. So at first not much to note, he was getting chances, and getting back into the swing of games, but as it progressed the time off wasn't really part of the equation.
Obviously in any sport, and for many athletes you go through a period of time when your production is low, so given that he was getting chances and feeling good, he attributed it to it just being a period of time when things were not going in, which can happen. Last week though it was now to the point, that it had gone on long enough that more was probably going on. He had a meeting with his coach, where the coach mentioned he noticed he was not going to the net like he used to, which will create more chances, and help him maybe get a dirty goal, which can help things get going again. So this made us question what else was he not doing that he had been when he was producing and scoring?
Too often we look too general at things, that makes it hard to see the details of what is really going on. He kept feeling he was getting chances, but if he is getting the chances, things should start going in. Not going to the net is one of those detailed things he failed to realize he had stopped doing. So now he is going to go back and watch video of the games, when he was scoring, and specifically the goals he was scoring, and then watch clips of him over the last month to help him pull out what he might be doing differently.
If results aren't coming, sometimes, the process is there, and it is just one of those times, but sometimes it is the process is not fully there. There are things missing, and so if you aren't getting the results, instead of just looking at general things like getting chances or like my last post, putting in the work, you need to dig deeper. To investigate, and look to the details. There is something there, but you have to be willing to look. It is easier often to blame, whether circumstances, teammates, or coaches decisions. They are of course apart of the equation, but you need to also take full responsibility for you, and what is in your control. This is not always easy, to turn the spotlight inward, and truly look at your own performance, and what small thing might have slipped. The higher you go, the more these detailed aspects impact your performance, and results.
So get curious, and start to truly understand yourself, and all the small components of your game that make you great. If things are not going well or results aren't there, make sure you look to the small things, because they can make the big difference.
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Mindfulness Certification
TAIS Assessment Certified