Craig has put together this new video with more amazing tips to help your athletes perform under pressure, deal with any last minute negativity and self-doubts and control those run-away nerves so they stay cool and calm under pressure. If you missed the videos with the first 4 strategies to dealing with pressure, just go to the home page. Click the HOME button at the top left of this page.
Still feeling pressure?!?
No worries, I have another great technique for your athletes on how to Master The Pressure. Let’s review the 1st four steps to make sure you have this down solid and have incorporated it into your pregame and game routine… You’ve spent time mentally practicing being in an extreme pressure situation in advance of the big game. You’ve practiced focusing on the mechanics, keeping your mind occupied and staying in the present moment. During heavy pressure moments you tell yourself you can feel this pressure AND still hit the mark.
Today’s mental toughness pressure tip is to put your center of attention completely on your target. That means focusing all of your mental energy on the spot you want the ball to go to… For instance, a baseball pitcher will zone in on the catcher’s mitt and ignore all else. A basketball player about to shoot a free throw stares at the sweet spot in the hoop. A golfer concentrates only on the flag and allows the green, the crowds, the sand traps to fade away. The kicker directs his focus on the point between the goal posts that he wants the ball to fly through. Here is the important part, you then need to let go of the mechanics and trust yourself to let your natural athletic ability to come through to make it happen. Even if you haven’t played well that day, it doesn’t matter! TRUST and let go of control. The only thing you should control is where your FOCUS is going. I often hear athletes say they have trouble with this concept of TRUST. I understand, but like all other skills, you have to practice this and other mental skills before you get to competition.
This extra step is what separates the winners from the mediocre. So how do you practice TRUST before a big pressure situation? During your next practice or training, you need to come up with a sentence to say or sing out loud while performing your desired action. What you say doesn’t have to have anything to do with your sport either. Sound crazy? This is what it would look like… a golfer might say “rhythm, timing and tempo”, while swinging the club. The soccer player could sing her favorite line from a hip-hop song as she is approaching the ball for a shot. A tennis player could say, “Cookies are my favorite food” in the middle of her serve. Are you getting the idea? You will discover, by doing this practice that you perform beautifully, while intentionally letting go of control. Crazy as it sound, this will actually develop TRUST. You might also find it useful to use that same song or sentence under pressure during the game as well.
In the Mental Toughness Academy, we know how important focus and concentration are in sports and in school, so we teach multiple ways to develop that FOCUS. With some practice, it becomes easy to zero in on your target under pressure.
I’m Craig Sigl, the Mental Toughness Trainer for Youth Athletes Welcome to the Winner’s Circle!
Do you ever wonder how you can be a mentally tough athlete? The first step is to know strengths and weaknesses as an athlete. Take our mental toughness quiz to find out your weaknesses and how you can strengthen them to become a mentally tough athlete! Take the quiz for free here: sportsmentaltoughness.com