Psychological Warfare and the Mental Game.

Tiger Woods has one.

So does Michael Phelps.

Shaquille O’Neil even famously hired one for his free-throw problem.

Almost every college pro team, major league pro sports team and Olympic team has one. Virtually every pro golfer and pro tennis player has one.

What do they have?

A Mental Game Coach.

These top sports stars are smart. They’re good already. Technical masters in their game. Some are all-stars and superstars, Olympic gold medalists with multi-million dollar endorsement deals. Why do “they” have a mind coach? They already have the technique and training to be the best. Yet, they want to maintain their excellence. And, they want to get better. They want every edge they can get, because they know their opponents have this mental advantage.

I was a player once. I swam competitively for sixteen years, ranked in the top ten in my state, and was a regional MVP by the time I was 14. This was in addition to playing volleyball in high school and college. I am well-versed in not only techniques in these two sports, but also the mental game.

The mental game.

After all those years of sports, I learned a strong mental game was the advantage. It was the training of your mind in: awareness, focus, learning, habit formation and performance. A strong mental game was the skill needed and the difference seen in: pre-game anxiety levels, performance stage fright and confidence. It was THE SKILL to have if you wanted to subtly psych-out your opponent.

It is, in effect, psychological warfare.

After years of participation in these sports, the transition to coach was a natural and easy one. As an older swimmer, I would teach the little ‘fish’. As a collegiate volleyball player, I would go to open-gym’s and give advice to the more novice players. All done with a very trained mind.

Which translated very well into my life. Risk assessment and planning are two of my strengths. Performance anxiety doesn’t exist in my vocabulary and confidence in a positive outcome is always a given. Which, after 14 years in a stressful financial work environment, could be a hard thing to say. I credit these assets to the training in the ‘mental game’ I got when i was younger.

Which brings me to a question for you …. What game do you play?

What mind-training exercises are you doing?

Are you seeing the benefits translate into your life?

Are you looking for a coach or mentor?

If you are looking for someone to help you, keep in mind that one size does not fit all. You wouldn’t hire Bela Karolyi to coach you to drive a car. No. Each coach/mentor has different limitations and plusses, and not all coach background and training is equal. Not all coaches trained the same have the same abilities and capabilities. As an MD friend is fond of telling people who ask, “Even the last person to graduate in the medical school class is called “Doctor”.

For coaches and mentors, some training they receive is narrow and deep and some is broad and general. The field is a wide one, but I have three tips for you if you are in the market for a ‘Coach/Mentor’:

*Make sure you select someone who has had successful or significant experience with your specific issues, desires and goals.

*Choose a practitioner on background, experience, reputation and results, not merely degrees.

*Chemistry and trust are vital!

As always, I am here for you if you get stuck, just an email away.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s