Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Do You Make This Choice?

 Life can be hard. Life presents us with obstacles … a lot of them. Sometimes it can be overwhelming.



We want to have some semblance of control over our lives. But when life throws us a curve ball so to speak, how do we respond? Do we duck? Do we get hit and get knocked down? Do we stay down? Do we get up?

Some things that happen to us we cannot control; however, we can control our responses. We get to make a choice on how we process that obstacle. Do we run from it? Do we try to pretend it’s not there? Do we deal with it head on? 

Do we use that obstacle or be used and battered by it?

Oftentimes obstacles are gifts. At the time, we don’t see them as gifts. If anything, they’re perceived as a curse.

Obstacles can be used as a tool to propel us forward or keep us at a standstill or even regress.

It’s our choice. 

We can have the obstacles proactively work for us or become passive and have the obstacles work against us.

How do we make that choice?

One word: mindset. Your mindset will determine whether or not you will achieve your goals when life presents obstacles. 

Everyday you are offered many choices: take the easy road or the more difficult one resulting in success. By taking the uphill road, you will be pushed to your limits and end up pushing yourself past your self perceived limitations.

Ask yourself: are you going to be among the 3% that didn’t give up? Your mindset will determine this resulting in whether you will be remembered or forgotten. What is your preference?

Do you have some fight left within you? Is there more in you? Can you give more?

Choose to fight the obstacles. 

Choose to extract the lessons learned from this fight and use it to propel you past every perceived limitation and challenge.

And most of all, choose to build your legacy and be remembered!


Friday, 28 May 2021

What Separates Elite Athletes from the Rest?

By Dr. Patrick Cohn at Peak Performance Sports, LLC.


How do elite athletes separate themselves from other athletes?  How do they see themselves?

Some athletes define themselves by their limitations, "I'm shorter than most basketball players," "I'm not as fast as other players on the soccer field," or "I don't have enough speed on my fastball to play college baseball."

When you are focused on limitations or weaknesses, your level of work and preparation will suffer.

Size, ability, and strength are valuable attributes but are not the game changing factors that make athletes elite. 

For example, many tennis players had great careers despite not having overpowering strokes. Athletes have made names for themselves by out-hustling other competitors.

What launches athletes to the next level is WORK!

 Putting in the work is not limited to working hard in practice. Work also includes preparation (diet, flexibility, strength training) and, most importantly, mental work (confidence building, focusing skills, managing stress, etc).

When you put in the mental work, you learn technical skills quicker and you are better able to replicate those skills under the pressure of competition.

When you put in the mental work, you will maximize your abilities and reach more of your potential.

When you put in the mental work, you perform more consistently and at a higher level.

When you put in the mental work, you are able to meet the demands of competing at a higher level.

Often, the mental aspects, the factors that contribute most to optimal performance, are neglected. Adding mental skills training to your existing work regimen boosts your performance to a new level and helps you achieve more of your potential.

 


Doing the Mental Work:

Just as your coach has a seasonal plan for your training, you should create a seasonal plan for your mental training.

What mental skills will benefit you most? How will you develop these skills? Where will you engage in mental training? What resources will you utilize to improve your mental game?

Once the physical training is complete and it's time to compete, that's when the mental work pays off.  Mental training is just as important, and some may argue more important, than the physical training. Don’t neglect it!

 

Friday, 23 April 2021

How Athletes Can Stay Active During Covid

By Dr. Patrick Cohn at Peak Performance Sports, LLC.



How do you feel when your training regimen is disrupted? More importantly, what do you do when your training regimen is interrupted?

Injuries, illnesses, inclement weather, facility shutdowns and vacations are some circumstances that can disrupt an athlete's training or competing.

Uncontrollable circumstances, such as an injury, can spur several thoughts that create anxiety for an athlete and hurt their confidence.

For example, if you had a second-degree ankle sprain, you may have many questions regarding your training:

* When can I resume training?

* Will my season be over?

* Am I going to fall behind my teammates who are still training?

* Will a couple of weeks off affect my strength and conditioning?

* Will my skills decline? Will my timing be off?

* How will I be able to catch up to my teammates and how long will it take before I can compete?

When you focus on the things you cannot do because of an uncontrollable circumstance, you will feel lost and helpless.

When your training is interrupted because of an unforeseen circumstance, you can still do something to stay physically and mentally active.

Case in point, the coronavirus has turned the world upside down and has left athletes to face many unknowns. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt training and competing for every athlete throughout the world. 

The Olympics were pushed back, international competitions were halted, professional sports seasons were postponed and many college, high school and youth sports were cancelled.

Some athletes were left feeling lost and trapped in their homes without their daily training regimen, while other athletes found creative ways to train that were exciting and empowering, i.e., do research with nutrition and/or get into yoga as well as mobility and stretching.

We have learned from the pandemic that adversity can strike at any moment, causing a disruption of training. No matter what circumstances, you can always find creative ways to train.

When you focus on what you can do or what you can control, you gain a sense of empowerment, build confidence and become a more well-rounded athlete.

How to Train your Mind and Body:

Remember, there is always something you can do to improve your game when you are not practicing or playing:

*If you can't run, you can learn relaxation techniques.

*If you are injured, you can visualize performing in a competition.

*If you are stuck indoors during a snowstorm, you can do weight training.

*If you can't train, you can work on flexibility.

This is also a good time to look into mental training as well, even when you're not practising or playing. Be creative with ways to improve your game even when not practising.

If you need direction on how to stay active despite sport layoffs, please contact me at (416) 805-6155 or email me at lesley@timbol.ca so I can help you regain a sense of control, direction, focus as well as improving your game.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

The Difference Between Success & Failure

By Lesley Timbol (Adapted from various google searches)


The difference between success and failure isn’t as simple as trying versus not trying.

The difference is not one thing. It’s in everything. 

To be successful at something is to have a desire to do it. To be relentless in the pursuit of your goals and dreams. 

What are you willing to sacrifice? Do you initially say ‘anything’ yet when challenged respond with ‘it’s too hard’? 

With success, you push through the challenging times. You do it despite the difficulty. It may take longer but you persevere!

One of the differences between success and failure lies in executing on the little details. Are you willing to go the extra mile? Take that extra step? Realign your priorities? Create and set boundaries for yourself and others? That extra step is doing whatever it takes to get to your goal or target.

Not everyone is willing or able to sacrifice. Are you? 

The difference lies in your response to failure. Most give up. Will you? Will you ‘cave in’?

Success is what comes after you have survived all of your failures.

You will have bad days. We all do but you have to fight through the bad days so that you can earn the best days of your life.

Success is what happens when you stick it out, grind it out, and show the character of a warrior, a winner, a champion.

The difference lies in your attitude. Many people are just robots just trying to get through the day.

It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it to the best of your ability.

To succeed is to want it more than others want it. You desire specific achievements. You’re willing to take risks and to make sacrifices for a dream only you can see.

Many will hesitate, debate, stumble and fall but not you. You’re all in. You’re committed.

The greatest risk in life is not taking any risks.

Michael Jordan has been quoted as saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” 

No risk? No reward. Nothing to learn and benefit from.

And therein lies the difference.

The difference between success and failure is in your persistence. 

Never give up!

Every step forward gets you one step closer to your goal or dream, your potential for greatness.

Can you see it? 

Many will say your dream is impossible … that is until you accomplish it.

Prove the naysayers wrong.

Get the job done. Be consistent. Be relentless. See it. Believe it. Follow the plan.

The difference between success and failure isn’t one thing.

It’s everything.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

I Am


It’s possible to be powerful and yet small. Consider these 2 small words: I am. How are these words powerful? Because what comes after “I am” reflects your belief system, controls your decisions, and ultimately shapes your life.

If you can say, “I am powerful”, such that you are capable of achieving your goals, you will make choices and behave in ways to support that line of thinking. 

However, if you say, “I am weak” or “I am worthless”, this reflects your beliefs about yourself and negatively affects your motivation to behave in productive ways to change that belief system.

Choose your words carefully as they can make or break you.

If negative thoughts and/or words about yourself come to mind, bring out the proverbial eraser and replace it with something positive. Can’t find the positive? It’s a skill that can be learned and, if need be, feel free to reach out to a professional like myself to help you develop or fine tune that skill.

For example, add the word “yet”, i.e., “I can’t find anything positive about my life” to “I can’t find anything positive about my life yet.”. It’s a small change but it gives one hope that the circumstances can change. “Yet” is another small but powerful word.

Here’s another example: “I am my own worst enemy”. The replacement can be “it’s time I learn to be my best friend.” How? When was the last time you said a kind word to yourself? Can’t find anything kind to say? How would people who genuinely care about you describe you? This is a start in a positive direction.

Humans are not made to be perfect. 

Nelson Mandela once said, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

Speak powerfully about yourself. Say the words as if they were true. Breathe the words into your heart and soul.

If you believe you’re great, you will attempt great things. When you affirm, “I am strong”, you will evoke that within yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Remember that words shape you in a powerful way.

Every day I want you to look in the mirror and speak positive “I am’s” to yourself but also take that next step and believe those words as they envelop your body and mind and cast out the negative ones.

Don’t let this power go to waste. You can write your affirmations and turn them into your own personal mantras.

You have a choice. You have options. You can speak into being what you want.

Say to yourself, “I am anything and everything I wanted”.

Be persistent. Change the “I can’ts” to “I cans”.

You can overcome anything. Mind over matter they say. If you believe and see it in your mind, you will make choices in that regard.

Thoughts are powerful. Thoughts lead to actions. Over time, actions become habits and habits lead to long lasting results.

If you want to learn how to be your own best friend, start with the thought “I am my own best advocate”, and continue on with statements such as, “I am confident”, “I am persistent”, “I am a survivor”, “I am the underdog they won’t see coming”, “I am an inspiration”, “I am resilient”, “I am a learner of life’s lessons”, I am proud of who I am as I am strong”. These are only a few examples but you can certainly expand on these.

Be powerful and transition into an “I am” state.

Now it’s time to take your place in the world of “I am” possibilities. 

Own it!


Wednesday, 20 January 2021

The Power of Why?

By Lesley Timbol



What makes you get up in the morning? I’m not talking about your alarm. What drives you? What motivates you?

Why is it important you know your why? It’s because if you want a life of happiness, fulfillment and success, you must find your purpose, aka your why.

Without knowing your purpose, you won’t know what drives you, what keeps you going in the tough times, what inspires you to improve.

When life throws you a curveball, when you’re met with an unexpected and intimidating obstacle, when nothing seems to be going “right”, when support can’t be found, when you make mistakes, when you feel overwhelmed, then what?

Your why will give you strength even when you feel like you don’t have the strength to get up anymore. Your why will give you the push and courage to do what’s uncomfortable.

Your why will help you face your fears and unknowns.

As an athlete, what makes you different from your competitors? What sets you apart from them? Why are you so important?

Your why helps define who you are and gives you a sense of your purpose in this stage of your life.

Somebody is waiting for you to mess up, to give up, to fail. Your why is your mental weapon against the “haters”, the “trolls”. Your why will help you fight when the doubters think you’re “out for the count”. Remember your reason, your why so it can drive you.

You don’t have to be an athlete to have a purpose. Is your purpose your family? Is it to prove someone wrong? Is it to prove yourself right? Is it to inspire others in similar situations?

Write down your purpose. Carry it with you. Say it out loud. Breathe that message into your body. Commit to yourself that you will live out your purpose with zero excuses.

What if you fall? What if you make a mistake and get off track? The true mistake is staying off track. What did you learn from that experience? That’s a lesson learned. Now dust yourself off and get back on track.

So the next time life challenges you, what are you going to do? Are you going to give up? Or will you make the moves to be successful?

Avoid looking back but rather remember where you came from and then focus on where and what you aspire to be. Recall your why.

If you don’t have a why yet, find something now that drives you. Something that no matter what happens, this why part of you doesn’t change. The drive doesn’t change. Your purpose doesn’t change. 

Your purpose is something that lights a fire in you. It’s something you can be passionate about.

Some things in life you can’t change; you just have to live with it. But if you do have a choice, allow your purpose to help you make the right choice.


Thursday, 15 October 2020

How to be your best friends in sports

 By Dr. Patrick Cohn at Peak Performance Sports, LLC.

Do you beat yourself up after competitions and only focus on your mistakes? Self criticism hurts an athlete but the effect of criticism is doubled when it comes from within the athlete’s mind.

Being self-critical is the quickest way to shatter confidence. Many times, athletes describe themselves as being their own biggest critic.

This mindset is viewed by some in a positive light meaning that this type of athlete pushes to be perfect and nothing less is sufficient. However self-criticism never pushes an athlete towards excellence.

Self-criticism post competition sends the message that you are not good enough and, no matter what you accomplish, that is not good enough either. 

A lot of athletes destroy their confidence between competitions by being too judgemental. When they don’t perform up to their expectations, they tend to beat themselves up.

Rather than focussing on your mistakes, don’t take it home with you. Leave the competition on the stage/field/rink and transition. If you’re thinking about it all night, you’re taking that performance too personally. Give yourself 30-60 minutes tops to assess your performance and then move on.

Secondly, have a post game/show routine where you start to behave a bit differently after the competition. How? First step is to focus on what you did well. For instance, ask yourself what are two things you feel you did well? It’s important to focus on the positive first. 

Step 2 is NOT focussing on your mistakes but rather learn and grow from your performance. It’s vitally important to keep your confidence from competition to competition and not destroy it afterwards. Try to do an honest, objective assessment of your performance. Use that information as a launch pad to know what you need to focus on in your next practice/prep. It’s about growing and getting better and then taking that to practice and applying that. Assess your performance in a way so that you can apply those lessons learned in future practices and competitions. That becomes an objective to improve that specific skill.

 If you need guidance on how to become your own best friend in sports, please contact me at (416) 805-6155 or email me at lesley@timbol.ca so I can help you transition, determine the lessons learned and strategise for optimal performance.