for love of the game

Craig Sigl, the Mental Toughness Trainer helps athletes get past their fear of losing or making a mistake, by reminding them about the most important reason they are playing their sport….. Because you love your sport!!!

Reminding them of this helps put short term losses and disappointments in perspective AND it keeps the athlete focused on the present moment.

Watch this video to see how Craig helps a group of varsity volleyball players with this same issue…

How Does Playing For Love Of The Game Help You To Win?

Have any of you ever had one of those successful moments? Like in volleyball where you know you had that dig, the spike, the save. Do you love the sight of the ball hitting the corner of your opponent’s floor?

Do you want to know what I love? The moment you block the ball and it goes straight. It wasn’t any hit you could ever do. Right. It’s the denial. Denial right! Look at you guys light up. So you love achieving that execution you thought you would never make.

Do you need to win to experience any of these things and love the sport? Can you just go in every single game and play for the fun of it?

I’m going to give you a whole lot more things that you may love about your sport and I encourage you to make your own list. Do it home and look at it before heading out to a game or even just practice.

Here are the kinds of things you can just love about playing… You can just love being able to play in gyms. Or maybe sand volleyball players love being on the beach in the sand. They just love getting sand up their bathing suit or whatever it is right? You can just love being there for being there.

Here’s the thing about sports and athletes. We’ve got too much brain power for our sport. Way too much brain power to hit a perfect set and smash right between the blockers hands and feel good about it. We don’t need all this thought about what other people says either – right? It’s not really useful for playing and it hurts your game.

Getting angry, because we miss – is that useful for our game? No, but our mind does all this stuff right? So the best way to do this is to crowd your mind with things you love so the junk doesn’t come in. You need to occupy our brain and our mind with useful stuff, because you all are way too smart for volleyball.

You guys have been blessed with like this Ferrari mind and all you need is a VW bug to play your sport. For just the execution of a set, you really just need to let your body do what it needs to do out there right? Is this making sense? So make your list of all the things you love about this sport and get it in detail for when you walk in to a pressure packed game.

I love playing basketball. That might surprise some of you at my height here, but I absolutely love playing basketball. I never played competitively, but I’ll go out and play just for the heck of it.

And when I get out there, man I just love the feeling of my legs just pumping and beating somebody to the ball cause I’m faster than most guys. I’m certainly not going to get any rebounds with 6 foot 5 inch guys that I play with. But the floor, that’s mine baby! If the ball is near the floor, I’m gonna own it.

So I go in there with this idea that I wonder how many floor rebounds I’m gonna get today? This is what I’m here for. Bring it on! I want it! I love basketball courts! I love my feet sticking on the court and making those cuts and jerking those guys out.

Once again, does any of this matter if we win or lose? No, I play pick up games. So who cares? I don’t care.

I’m suggesting you guys go out there even in highly competitively matches and tournaments and do this, “I love this game! I love my team!” You put yourself in that state and you crowd your mind with all the little details about volleyball you love.

One thing that I didn’t hear that I have heard a lot from my clients is love of just improving. Love of developing skills. You guys like that right? “I can’t wait to see if I can put into play what I learned in that last practice and training. Oh I can’t wait for that to happen!” You get that excitement up.

Can you imagine if you played a whole tournament with this kind of a mindset? Focusing on why you’re there, the love of the sport, wanting to improve. Who cares about the score? Let your coach or whoever the team captain is that needs to pay attention to the strategy of how to play. Let them worry about that. Making sense?

for love of the gameWelcome to the Winner’s Circle!

Craig Sigl, Mental Toughness Trainer