Playing like you practice

 In Coaches, Focus & Awareness, Professional & Olympic Athletes

SupermanWhats all the (competitive) doubt about? In my mind competition doubt includes 3 major features.These features may at some level exist during practice but not at the same level as competition.

They include:

  1. The superman syndrome – thinking you are going to be faster, stronger, smarter or better tomorrow than you are today. Chances are not likely. Sure you might hit an amazing cross court shot, a home run or lift 5 pounds heavier but the opportunity for those situations to show up exist for most competitors. The problem is that once this happens you start to expect more or for something just a little outside of your ability to happen again. You actually look for it and when it does happen you become deflated. What’s the solution: always go in playing to the best of your ability. When amazing, great things happen, celebrate them but don’t expect them to happen again.
  2. Focus on the outcome – you are focused on winning or losing; the time; the score. If you are focused on these things you are not focused on what you should be focused on. You can’t be focused on the process and the outcome at the same time. If you are losing, looking the the outcome only drains your confidence. You can’t improve the outcome unless you are focused on the process. The steps are what get you to where you want to go. The process is where you have the most control over your mental and physical abilities. What’s the solution: don’t even look at the score. Why would you? Stay focused on the present and keep giving 100% (100% may look differently at different points during competition).
  3. Focus on other people – who are you competing against and who’s better than you? There are few spots at the top: each Olympic event has 1-gold medal. There is 1-World Series Champion. This 1-person might be you especially if you go out and give 100%. I’ve seen clients win over other competitors that were better. If you focus on how good a competitor is you are giving them power over you and you are not focusing on what you need to do to win. What’s the solution: focus on you, your abilities and what you need to do mentally and physically to play your best. This gives you the best opportunity to do your best. Think to yourself – I have as much opportunity as anyone else to win this! 

Happy start of your week!

Dr. Michelle

Three-time bestselling author:  Beating the Competition Demons, Beating the Tennis Demons & From Here to There a simple blueprint for women to achieve peak performance in sports and business

Photo cred: 

Dr. Michelle Cleere
In her own private practice as an elite performance expert, Dr. Michelle Cleere helps top athletes, musicians, and executives in competitive fields unlock the power of the mind and create the mental toughness to be the best. Dr. Michelle’s extensive academic background, which includes a PhD in Clinical Psychology and a Masters in Sports Psychology, allows her to help clients deal with performance anxiety, gain more confidence, and build resilience. In addition to personal coaching, Dr. Michelle takes on many roles – a best-selling author, athlete, and teacher. Dr. Michelle’s bestseller line, Beating the Demons, helps clients develop practical skills to gain more control over competitive environments and mitigate the interruption in play to overcome intense odds and defeat adversity. As a 15-year USAT Coach, she developed simple and effective tools to mentally train her athletes, and they are used by coaches around the world. She is a professor at John F. Kennedy University where she teacher her students to use the mind as an ally to improve performance.
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