There’s such a thing as wanting something too badly! What far too many athletes don’t realize is that their laser-like focus on their goals may actually be the one obstacle that is preventing them from actually reaching them! Here’s how it works:
Your goals and expectations give your practice efforts a direction and specific target. They organize your training and channel it in a constructive manner. More important, your goals and expectations fuel your efforts. They give you a reason for working hard, sacrificing and suffering. They answer the important question, “Why am I doing all of this?”
What’s important to understand about your expectations and goals is that they are a training toolreserved for PRACTICE ONLY! However, if you bring this same headset to competition, if you focus on what’s at stake and what you could lose when it all counts, then your goals will backfire on you! They will sabotage your efforts by heightening your nervousness and tightening your muscles. They will fill your heart with fear of failure and obsessive worries about making mistakes! They will make your best efforts tentative and sub-par!
What I’m saying here is that when you get out there onto that big stage, when the lights are bright and the heat of competition is turned way up high, you need to leave your goals and expectations at home! They have no place in your important competitions! NONE WHAT-SO-EVER!
To perform at your best you need to be loose and relaxed. You need to be free to make mistakes and totally unconcerned with the outcome. You need to be completely unburdened by expectations! You need to be in a relaxed, trust and let it happen mindset. You can’t achieve this mindset if you’re worried about the outcome of this performance and your goals and expectations are at the forefront of your mind right before and while you perform!
If you are overly goal focused during the performance, if you desperately want to win, then you will become a victim of trying too hard, of muscling the performance and of trying to force things to happen. So do yourself a favor!Remind yourself that good mental mechanics require that you use goals and expectations ONLY as a training tool for practice and NEVER as a performance tool for competition!