Is the Mental Part of Your Game Holding You Back?
Develop mental toughness and lift the level of your play!
Becoming a champion requires any athlete to “pay their physical dues.” There is no shortcut to reaching your goals in this sport. You have to work hard, get stronger, increase endurance, and hone the technique required to play at a high level. By making this kind of physical investment and working hard at it, you are moving yourself one step closer to your dreams. However, to become a champion, you must also work on the mental side of your game.
Once you step onto the field for an important try-out or game, the difference between playing well or poorly lies completely between your ears! When the game is on the line and the competitive pressure is turned up high, playing to your potential is all about how well you can execute mentally. That is, are you able to stay calm and composed under pressure, rebound quickly from mistakes and bad breaks, manage last minute negative thinking and doubts and maintain your confidence no matter what? These are the key factors that make the difference between playing well and winning and playing poorly and losing!
The nuts and bolts of mental toughness
- Concentration, when controlled, is the key to excellence. If you lose control of your focus and concentrate on the wrong things either before or during your game, you will undermine your confidence, get yourself nervous, and then underachieve.
- Keep your focus on what YOU are doing, NOT on what your opponent is doing or what you imagine others are thinking.
- Concentrate on one play at a time in the present.
- When you lose your focus, quickly “reset” and bring it back to YOU and the NOW.
- Leave your mistakes in the past where they belong
Do you know how to avoid getting psyched out or intimidated?
Playing your best when it counts the most demands that you stay centered and “play your own game.” This can only happen when you focus on yourself and your job. If you are in the habit of allowing your concentration to stray to your opponents – their skill level, size, or reputation – then you will quickly find yourself getting psyched out.
As a field hockey player, you must make a commitment to work hard on your mental game, as well as your physical one. You’d never leave your conditioning or skill execution to chance! So why leave the critical mental part of your game up in the air? You have to believe in yourself and have the self-confidence to focus on yourself and not your opponents when you’re under pressure. You have to be able to handle last minute negativity and self doubts. You have to be able to master your fears. We can help.
Dr. G has worked with high school and college field hockey teams across the country. As the former Sports Performance Consultant to the University of Connecticut, Dr. G worked closely with the Huskies’ field hockey team. He is the author of the revolutionary book, This Is Your Brain On Sports: Beating Blocks, Slumps and Performance Anxiety for Good! Check out his popular Mental Toughness Training Package.
I've been frustrated because my play was always better in practice than games! I never knew what I was doing wrong until I started working with your program. It's clear I was making concentration mistakes and since I learned how to correct them, I'm finally playing to my ability under pressure!
My daughter is a goalie and has consistently struggled with nerves. Since she started working with your 14 Steps, I have witnessed a dramatic change! She is now calm and much happier playing the game! Thanks.
I used to lose it mentally whenever I made mistakes in a game. I'd get angry at myself and then mess up more. You taught me how to quickly bounce back and now I'm playing like my old self!
OVERCOMING PERFORMANCE FEARS AND BLOCKS Are you struggling with a seemingly mysterious performance problem? Have you or your athlete suddenly lost BASIC abilities? FINALLY understand where this FRUSTRATING problem comes from and what you can do about it!
THE MENTAL SIDE OF ATHLETIC INJURIES The mental pain caused by your injury and the temporary or permanent loss of your sport can be far more devastating than the strained or torn ligaments, pulled muscles, ripped cartilage or broken bones. Unless this type of pain is directly addressed and “treated”, your overall recovery will be slow and incomplete.