Friday 21 August 2020

No Mask Needed

No you don’t need a mask for this. Get out of your head! The “should’s”, “can’ts”, and the “buts” can stop any athlete in their tracks; however, you can change the verbage to I “will”, “can”, and “it will be done”.

How do you prepare athletes or how do athletes themselves prepare when they don’t know when or how they’ll be competing again? In times of uncertainty, it’s time to look at the “certains”.

Rather than focusing on what you cannot do, focus on what you DO know and CAN control. As an athlete, you DO know how to train, practise, eat, and prepare for a competition.

Mental skills training addresses various challenges to help you approach your show with focus and confidence, staying centred, setting routines, being mindful how you’re feeling when you’re training as well as during the rest of the day, properly dealing with the temptation to watch your competitors’ progress on social media, targeting self doubt, regaining control of your mind when it drifts to negative scenarios, and so on.

Look in the mirror. Like it or not, that’s what you have to work with. Like playing cards, you don’t need a loaded hand to do well. It’s all on how you strategically play your cards. Play them one at a time with planned thought. Focusing on what the other players may have is a distraction. 

Take note of your competition’s strengths, as that is human, but move on from any distracting thoughts. Dwelling on others progress does more harm than good. Focus on your hand and play your cards to the best of your ability.

What if you’ve screwed up at a recent show? Are you banging your head against the wall as a form of punishment?  Welcome to the world of competition; we all make mistakes. 

The real question is what did you learn from that mistake? If you can strategize what you’d do differently the next time it happens, it no longer becomes a mistake;  it becomes a lesson learned. And it’s likely a lesson you won’t forget.

I can recall one show, if not two, where afterwards I thought and said out loud that I was never going to compete again. And I did mean it at that time and for a while afterwards but then, my mind changed. 

Why? After eating some carbs and reflecting on the situation, I recalled my reasons for competing. Yes I want to win. Who doesn’t? But to expect I’ll win at every show isn’t realistic. I do like a challenge and I reflect on my personal reasons for competing.

As competitive athletes, we make up the upper echelon of people. In other words, we’re not like normal people. We follow strict eating guidelines and training routines. We make sacrifices. Others may look at us and comment that we’re “crazy” for doing what we do. Maybe we are but we have a smile on our face and we choose to continue competing so it can’t be that bad.  ;-)

Other people don’t walk in your shoes so avoid taking their words to heart. 

I also invite you to unmask YOUR “should’s”, “can’ts”, “buts” and so on. You don’t need that mask of limitation. You’re an athlete. You’ve already broken various limitations and you will continue to do so.

Change your strategy. Learn from past mistakes and pivot in a new direction. Oftentimes that pivot takes us into an even better direction than our original plan.




And embrace your inner, “I can/will”. If you need assistance in this area, please feel free to contact me at (416) 805-6155 and it will be done.

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