There’s no need to fear underdog is here

 In Competition, Confidence, Control
underdog

Photo credit: www.flickr.com

Do you remember the show Underdog?

When he was not Underdog, he was incognito as the humble & lovable Shoeshine Boy. Like Superman, when trouble calls, he hurriedly dresses in a phone booth, destroying the booth in the process which activated his super powers. Underdog regularly faced enemies from alien worlds, such as the Marbleheads from Planet Granite, the Magnet Men of the Magnet Planet, the aliens from the Planet of Zot, and the Flying Sorcerers of the Saucer Planet who always managed to menace Sweet Polly Purebred. Source

Are you an Underdog during competition?

What’s the underlying principles here? First, that many us feel like Shoeshine Boy when we go into competition. We are humble about our abilities. Many times that humbling lends itself to apathy, low motivation and lacking confidence. Being humble in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing but for someone who wants to go out and win it isn’t the right level of mental energy you need to be able to do that. The definition of humble: modest, not arrogant; having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority or subservience. I find this definition interesting. Why? Because most of my clients do not want to come across arrogant but they also don’t want to come across insignificance, inferiority or subservience. Clients struggle to be ‘confident’ for the same reasons. You do not have to be arrogant to be confidence and you need confidence to not across across insignificance, inferiority or subservience.

The second important underlying principle here is that there is an underdog in each and every one of us. There is this part of our personalities that can come out fighting; when trained to do so. Your superpowers are there, you just have to tap into them and you don’t have to enter a phone booth for that. 🙂 What’s important to understand is that this is all within each of us and we can’t just show up and expect it to ‘be there’ just as we can’t just show up without practice and expect our physical ability to be there. You need to develop these skills.

In most arena’s the underdog mentality is not a good mentality. It means you are feeling insignificance, inferiority or subservience. A lot of athletes show up for competition in this space and feed into it. For example, my professional tennis player will sometimes say, ‘I am the underdog in this match – there’s no way I am going to win’ and she doesn’t win. A few athletes can use feeling like the underdog to their advantage. For example, my swimmer has said, ‘she usually beats me but I can beat her’ and she has beaten her. Which of these ‘underdog mentalities’ do you think has a better opportunity of winning? Which underdog do you want to be?

In the end, Underdog always showed tenacity and determination and got the girl. You can’t always get the win but with better mental preparation you can get the win more consistently.

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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