Friday, 29 January 2016

The world of 'should'

I did my first race for my new club on Sunday - a 10 miler.  Despite knowing that I missed a lot of training last year, not having properly raced since the summer and putting on unnecessary weight, there was still a part of my brain that said I ‘should’ still be able to run close to my previous pace…  Luckily for me, I kicked that part of my brain into touch and thought, ‘it doesn’t matter where I think I should be, what matters in where I am’ and that was 20 minutes down overall over 10 miles!

Using statements with the words, can’t, can, should, must, ought, necessary etc. causes us to limit our thinking and therefore our choices and our behaviours.

If I had said ‘I should run this race at close to my previous pace’ and therefore was way off, does that mean I shouldn’t have finished?  Should I have pulled up after a couple of miles knowing I wasn’t going to be close?  Surely better to finish (without causing injury) and face the reality of where I am and therefore target my training on knowledge and reality than beat myself up about not being where I should be…

How we speak to ourselves is important throughout training and competing.  I will get back to my previous pace and with a mix of running, cycling and swimming will probably end up fitter than I was before and I will be keeping a check on what statements and language I use on myself.

If you want to know more about how language effects our thoughts and feelings, then contact me.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Who's thought was that?

‘If we’re always guided by other people’s thoughts, what’s the point of having our own.’ 
Oscar Wilde

It’s great to have others opinions, especially when we are trying to make a decision, but we need to remember that they are just that, other people’s opinions based on their own view of the world and what they believe to be true.

It can be the same with sport, people think what works for them is the only way, whether it is about nutrition, recovery, training, resting or competing.  It can be tough sometimes to make sure you are hearing your own voice and finding out what works for you.  And it changes… so what works at one point in your training/competing/life, may no longer work later on due to a change in your fitness levels, dealing with an injury or your mindset has changed.

How aware are you of your mental skills?  Whether you are training or competing, in a team or on your own, the voices in your head are just that, yours.

Discussing Johanna Konta’s mental skills, after her win against Venus Williams in the Australian Open, her former coach Justin Sherring said she had been working with a mental skills coach.  As he said ‘On your own, [if] can’t work things out under extreme pressure, you’re going to struggle.’

If you want to react well under pressure and make it work for you then contact me to find out more about mental skills training.