Athletes Must Commit to Shots

March 31, 2013

As you strive for peak performance in a competitive sport, you must be able to commit to shots! You do this by having greater peace, mastery, calm, confidence, and a highly focused energy, while at the same time maintaining a relaxed calm and confidence.  These areas are what I try to help you address for the mental side of your game in my work as a Mental Trainer and Hypnotherapist.  You need presence, mastery and peace, and without these elements I would say it is impossible to have consistent good performance – let alone peak performance.  You might win once in a while but it is likely that the emotional roller coaster caused by occasional wins, will be to your detriment in the long run.

What do I mean by emotional roller coaster?  If you lack mental skills and you move into the following event or week after a win, you will probably experience a letdown if your performance is not up to the perception of what you thought it should be – or what it was the week/event before.  So the mental skills are vital to consistent winning and vital to consistent peak performance.  They are also vital if you intend to see regular success or progress in your performance.

So you need mastery, presence and inner peace; and not just in your sport.  These elements are important in many areas of your life – wherever you wish to seek peak performance.  You can actually “win” at whatever you put your mind to; career choice, projects at work, a hobby or interest you have, or as it pertains to your relationships.  It is the same mastery, presence and inner peace that will allow you to “win” or succeed in those areas also.

To expand on the concept of calm and confidence with highly focused energy, while at the same time maintaining relaxed calm and confidence, I pulled a suggestion from one of my golf products to use in this article.  It is:  “I easily commit to shots – I am calm, focused and confident.”

Since I work with a lot of different kinds of athletes, I kept the suggestion generic because it can pertain to golf, clay shooting, boxers or lots of other athletes, in which there is a moment of asking “am I committed to this shot or the next move, or not?”  Even chess players benefit from being committed to the next move.  Being committed makes the difference as to whether you will persevere in the face of challenges, or how often you might practice the mechanics of your sport.  You must be committed in order to be successful or seek a higher level of performance.

What does it feel like when you are not committed?  You feel uneasy or nervous about what you are about to do; you start to doubt yourself.  Doubt creeps in if you lack confidence.  It creeps in if you lack confidence in yourself in general; it creeps in if you lack confidence in how well you can perform in that particular kind of shot; it creeps in if you haven’t been performing as well as you’d like in the last few holes or stations, or the last few times you’ve actually performed.  It can even creep in if you played at that particular event a year ago, when you did not perform as well as hoped back then.  Doubt can also creep in if you have thoughts like “I haven’t practiced as much as I’d like” or “I haven’t had time to practice as much as I’d like, and here I am looking to perform well at this event”.

Doubt can come in for lots of different reasons, and it keeps you from achieving peak performance.  You know that feeling in your body, and the way your energy shifts.  When doubt is there, you are definitely not committed to your shots.  So how do you address it?  How can you stop the doubt from attacking your confidence?  First you have to recognize that feeling.  When it starts to come to the surface and you first notice it, you must be able to turn it around and turn it off.  Like hitting the power button on a TV remote, you just turn it off.

The next step is to realize that the doubt is there because of a thought pattern, thought process, or belief; and then address the underlying cause for those thoughts. Yes, you can derail those kinds of thoughts and turn them off, but it won’t come easily.  It takes a continual ongoing effort to turn them off.  But for a long-term change, it will be more beneficial to you if you address the underlying cause – or get to the root of the problem.  It’s not enough to just turn them off in that moment, because they will keep coming back around.  In order to achieve peak performance, you need to keep them from coming back.

You might think that those thoughts won’t be there when you perform well and things are going the way you prefer, but doubt can creep in there also.  If you are having a streak of good performance; you might start to doubt that it will continue.  Let’s say you’ve been shooting well after 3 stations – if that’s been your best performance – then you might expect to do poorly at the next station.  It’s the same with golf.  If you’ve had a streak of birdies – the longest streak you’ve ever had – the thoughts and doubts may start coming in, affecting your performance and level of success.

So what you want to do is recognize the feeling of doubt, and the kinds of thoughts that lead to that feeling.  In the moment, the band aid cure is to just get rid of the thoughts and replace them with a more positive statement like “I can do this”, or some other positive affirmation you hear about.  But that is a temporary fix, because the next time you struggle in your performance, they will come back again.

If you want to consistently achieve peak performance you have to address it even further than just those thoughts.  You have to look at your belief system and be able to ask yourself “Why do I think this way?  Why do I allow myself to keep focusing on the negatives in these situations?  What can I address internally in me as far as my confidence and preferences and where I spend my mental time?”   You can then train or program yourself to think in a more positive, beneficial way.  It is a shifting at the core level of your belief system, not just “let me think more positively and everything will be rosy”, because it will come back again and again, and cause your performance to suffer each time.

I easily commit to shots…”  This is a positive statement or affirmation, and it will help with temporary change so you can achieve greater levels of success, in spite of doubt that creeps into your mind.  I recommend that you use it to affirm your belief in your abilities, because repeating it will help you build your belief system around it.  In time, it will become more significant and strong and believable to you, but it must happen at two levels.  It must happen at the surface level with repetition and changing your focus deliberately, with stopping the negative kinds of thoughts.  Then for permanent change, you will have to dig deeper.

“…I am calm, focused and confident.”  In this part of the statement, I am looking at calmness coming from being focused and having confidence; believing in yourself, knowing what you bring to the table and trusting yourself in that moment.  It also includes a level of acceptance of who you are, where you are at in your performance, and what is going on; that you can handle whatever is happening.  This is what brings about calmness.  Your focused self is that level of presence you bring to ‘the moment’, so being focused is being present.  Being focused is being able to allow everything around you to become almost invisible, where it has no effect on you – you are just ‘in the zone’ – something people mention as being a fluky thing that they wish would happen more often or they hope will happen again.  It is real, it does contribute to peak performance, and it comes from being focused in the present moment.

I can help you to become more focused, present and in the zone every day, achieving peak performance in your life and in your sport. I have helped many athletes and sports professionals already and my techniques are proven effective.  It is a matter of learning all of the skills necessary to be fully present; to be fully accepting and have the ability to tune out, but yet be tuned in and have calm, focused confidence, all at the same time.  Many have learned it and achieved peak performance, and so can you.

As for increasing your confidence, that comes from a repetition of focusing your time and energy on what you are doing well.  You can put your attention on what you are screwing up or what you are doing well; it is really up to you.  The more you focus on what you are doing well, the higher your confidence will be in that area.  Practice your mechanics and mental skills to build consistent levels of success in your performance, while using positive affirmations to build your internal belief system in your abilities.  If you truly need help in a certain area, then I am not suggesting you ignore it altogether.  Just maintain a positive focus, looking at that area as an opportunity for growth, and watch your performance improve.

Easily commit to your shots, stay calm, focused and confident.  It may sound simple, but it really is a lot of information to digest and to put into practice. These mental skills are vital for consistent winning; consistent peak performance.  You need mastery, presence and inner peace.  These are extremely important elements and if you are able to implement them immediately, you will see direct cause and effect in achieving peak performance in your game – and some great successes in your life.

I hope you enjoyed reading this lesson, and that you benefit from the skills I described.  If you need any assistance or clarification in committing to your shot, please contact me.  I love helping people achieve peak performance and improve their skills for successful life and living.  Thanks for reading, and have an amazing day!

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