I live for moments when an athlete makes the connection between the work they are doing and the impact it has on their performance. That was the case recently. My athlete shared with me that she completed a clean program this week in practice. During the performance, she reflected on the negative thoughts she experienced throughout and how she coped with them.
What she couldn’t understand was how she could skate so well despite experiencing negative thoughts. What I explained to her made a light bulb go on inside her brain!
Thoughts – Feelings – Behaviour
The first theory I teach is the roll your thoughts play in influencing your behaviour. The technique of reframing negative thoughts to neutral or positive ones is the next phase of this. Even through the process of reframing, the negative thoughts become quiet and less dominate but never really disappear. You continue to hear them but now have the choice whether to listen or not.
Defusing from Thoughts
For my athlete, she was able to separate herself from her thoughts. To defuse from the thoughts and choose her focus: performing each element, one at a time, to the best of her ability. Defusing from your thoughts is the next level of comprehension. This mental strength is observed when we watch elite athletes perform their best on the biggest stage in the world. Elite athletes still get nervous and speak to themselves negatively, however they have developed the skill of defusing from their thoughts.
Mindset Moment Aha!
When I made her aware of what she had done, you could see a light bulb going on in her brain. This was a major aha moment for her and a highlight for me as her mental trainer! This is where it all clicks for the athlete and the “buy in” to continue the work becomes solidified.
The sky is the limit for this athlete, in terms of her potential as a mentally strong competitor. I predict she will only become more confident in her ability and continue to experience these results.
Until next time,
Keep your Brain in the Game
A Do-It-Yourself online course for athletes, parents and coaches. Mind-Body Performance Academy is a great introduction to mental training through video modules, worksheets and email Q & A.
Get more information and sign up for the course –> https://rebekah-dixon.mykajabi.com/pl/134764