Thursday, September 6, 2012


Follow up to last Friday of Mental Training Session 1: Our team had great discussion on what is and isn't mental toughness. To start we had to understand how critical mental toughness is to performance. It is absolutely essential to an athlete fulfilling her potential and her ability to capitalize on opportunities. We covered the first C of mental toughness, CONFIDENCE (as described by Spencer from the company Icebox). Our definition of confidence is "Having a consistent belief in your ability to achieve your goals in the face of adversity." As we know, some athletes don't need a lot of help in this area, and many even need to come down a notch. However, you may be surprised how much doubt does go through athletes' minds. The key here is to acknowledge that doubt is normal, but how do we retrain our mind to remove that thought and replace it with a performance enhancer? First we identify the triggers that hinder our confidence. Some of the triggers our team came up with were mistakes, criticism, comparison, or a previous experience. We then tense up, focus on that rather than the task at hand. Once we recognize the trigger we can then change the negative chatter in our mind into a positive self-talk. Our sports psychologist Pat Donahoe was facilitating awesome discussion on how we need to rephrase these thoughts in our heads without using absolutes. The third piece of this discussion is transitioning quickly so we can stay focused on the task or goal. For some of our athletes there is no rephrasing, it's letting go and moving on. As in any part of the game, the real work comes now as they practice these tools to make them a habit. Much more to come as tomorrow we cover commitment. Stay tuned! Coach Bin

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