Thursday, 21 May 2015

Preparing for success in sport

If you want to have success then you need to know what success means to you - how can you succeed at something if you don't actually know what it is!

So that's my first question - what is success to you?

Have  a think about this quote...

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet - Bobby Usher

What do you do to prepare - how much time each week do you give to your physical training, now think about how much time you actively give to your mental strategies...? I'm going to suggest it's no-where near as much...

... and then opportunities...

How do you recognise opportunities..?  By being really clear about your outcome

Think about what you want to achieve.  You might find yourself actually thinking about all the things you 'don't' want to happen and that's fine, write them down and get them out of your system.  You can then write down what it is you 'do' want.  This outcome must be a positive one and one that only you can deliver - in other words completely in your control.

At this point we are not looking at how we are going to achieve this but what

Once you've defined what you want to achieve, take a moment, think about what it will be like when you have achieved it, what can you see that you are doing and what is happening around you, what can you hear yourself saying (out loud or in your head) and what are others saying, and how do you feel.  Write or draw these thoughts down as well

This is making our outcome sensory specific.  When we do that we are helping our brain understand what it is we want to achieve and it will then start to work towards that.

Once you have all this written down, recheck it, is there anything missing that you want to add in, is this still the outcome you want?  You'd be surprised how many times we think we 'should' have a specific outcome, only when we look at it in detail we realise it isn't what we actually 'want'.  The outcome needs to be one we desire!

Once our brain knows what it is we want, it will look for the opportunities to deliver it and if we are preparing well then success will follow.

One important key to success is self-confidence.  An important key to self-confidence is preparation - Arthur Ashe

and remember...

Over the coming weeks I'm going to writing about different areas of mental strategies and give you some specific ways of training your brain.