Watching the athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics, you can see a clear advantage in the mental talent that fuels their superb athletic performances. The key is watching how one athlete makes victory look effortless while others crumble under pressure.
Two sports performance psychology tricks I've taught my Olympians are laser focus and maintaining a winning belief. I share them with you here so that you can use them to enhance your skills.
Create a Laser Focus in the Midst of Competition
Most athletes find themselves distracted during their event competition. Questions like "Am I good enough?" and "Who's better than me?"—and random thoughts about the crowd, the weather, equipment failure and poor officiating—can be major performance sidetracks. Distractions take your focus away from what's important: performing well.
One technique proven effective at Philly Hypnosis Performance involves teaching athletes to:
- Turn off the negative thoughts, and
- Create a mental peak performance.
Conditioning your neural cortex is like pre-wiring yourself to compete without distracting thoughts.
Maintain a Winning Belief
Thinking more about failure than success is common among athletes. But lack of confidence stacks the deck against you. Athletes with this mindset tend to sulk, walk slowly and even hang their heads. This type of body language is not empowering. In team events, it can even sabotage other players.
Instead, create a winning belief by recalling a specific victory. If you haven't won anything significant, think about another athlete who has won or has a winning belief that you admire. Fire up your imagination with sight, sound and touch and create a circle in front of you. Add each element of your winning imagination to the circle. Then "jump" into the circle and absorb everything you placed in the circle for your performance. By supercharging your imagination, you'll begin to see yourself having the talent and skills to win.
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