What if I told you that right now, as you read this, you already have that great performance inside of you? Believe it! If you’ve been “paying your physical dues” and consistently working hard, if you have the ability to perform to your potential in practice, then right here, right now that peak performance is at your fingertips for this big, upcoming contest. All you have to do to allow your “A” game to come out is use the right mental strategy.
What’s the right mental strategy? TRUST AND LET IT HAPPEN!
There’s an easy, effortless feeling whenever you’re “ON.” It’s an automatic kind of “let it happen” feeling that always comes from being relaxed both before and during your performance. When you’re relaxed in this way, your “conscious mind” is in a quiet, observing mode and your muscle memory that you’ve trained through countless hours of practice, takes over. To be at your best when it counts the most then, you must learn to let your game flow. You must learn to let it come to you.
All too often athletes get too distracted by the importance of the performance and so fall into the over-thinking and trying too hard traps. They consciously get too involved with the game’s outcome and, because they want to do so well or are worried about falling short, they end up muscling, steering or forcing things. It’s this “trying too hard” mentality that will always send your game straight down the tubes.
This is what I call the “paradox of winning:” When you focus too much on winning or needing a good performance, then you end up forcing things and performing way below your potential. Instead, when winning is not on your radar screen and you go into your performances relaxed and only focused on your job in the moment, then you will dramatically increase your chances for playing your best and winning.
The trick is learning to relax, trust your training and let your skills come out automatically by themselves.
Remember, the conscious mind or the FRONT, thinking part of your brain is much too slow to keep up with the complexity and speed involved in all athletic performance. This part of your brain is totally incompetent when it comes to fluid, coordinated and well-timed athletic performance. This part of your brain is an athletic idiot! However, when you over-think an upcoming performance or focus on all that’s at stake and the “what if’s,” then you end up turning your game over to your athletic idiot. Your unconscious or HIND brain is where all of your muscle memory resides. That’s why I say to you that if you’ve been honestly making a consistent training investment that you already have that great performance inside.
Your hind brain is a “pro” when it comes to athletic movement. In order to allow your HIND brain to take over, you must calm yourself down pre-performance, trust your training to this point and let that great game flow out all by itself.