It's amazing how many people in the world are dissatisfied with the quality of their lives. And yet if they took the time to analyze the quality of their thoughts they would likely find that they are focusing on all the things they don't want instead of all the things they do want!
As humans we have in excess of 50,000 unique thoughts each and every day, as do our kids. And like their parents young athletes can tend to focus their thoughts on what they don't want...especially when it comes to their sports.
When your athlete is in a hitting or fielding slump her thoughts tend to drift to the dark side as she likely focuses on "not striking out," or "not making an error," or "not walking any batters." In reality all the subconscious mind hears is "strike out," or "make an error," or "walk batters." You may think I am crazy but this has been scientifically proven. When your athlete uses the words "don't" or "not" she is perpetuating her poor performance.
To break free from this negative thought cycle and the boomerang effect that can occur your athlete needs to develop the habit of doing the following 5 actions:
1. Recognize how she currently thinks. Be mindful of the negative focus and the language she uses, and how those thoughts can dominate her head before and during the game; particularly in the key, high stress moments.
2. Begin to develop clarity on the exact results and goals she wishes to see. Without knowing exactly what she wants it will never materialize for her.
3. Start using visualization or mental imagery before going to bed or first thing in the morning of game day to literally start "seeing" the results she wants in her head.
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4. Develop positive self talk and positive "trigger statements" that she can use in the batter's box, in the field or in the circle to maintain positive "can do" focus.
5. Remain super aware of where her focus and thoughts are throughout the game. While on deck or going out to play defense or walking out to the circle flip on the switch to thinking and seeing the exact results she wants. This will create laser focus and tremendous positive energy, and produce a much higher level of game day performance and joy in playing.
The bottom line, as long as your athlete continues to focus her thoughts on the results she doesn't want she will keep getting those exact results. To use an old zen saying, "What you resist persists."
Once she can employ the habit of focusing her thoughts, focus and energy on all the things and results she does want, while building the daily habits in this article, those exact results will start showing up for her with much greater frequency!
Thanks for reading! -- John Kelly
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