Let’s look at the “anatomy” of the mental focus during a state championship 400-meter run by breaking down and naming one key mental training practice that produces consistent top performances. We think in words and our brain runs our body so athletes want to catch the words they are saying because they can break down or build up your perfromance. Athletes want to build a championship vocabulary! One way to transform your athletic performance is the create a positive performance word/phrase in your own words. In an article entitled, Memorable senior moment for Gable in the Corvallis Gazette Times on May 26, 2013, young track athelete, Mitchell Gable, is quoted, “I was just thinking in my mind, ‘state champion,’ over and over again…That just helped push me to the finish line and edge past him.” The article goes on to state, “He had goals of winning state and running a sub-49-second time. Gable accomplished both with a personal best 48.97…” This story clearly illustrates one mental training tool that is always in an athletes’ power to do…build your own positive performance word/phrase and maintain a keen mental focus on it from beginning to end no matter what.
In line with the above story, following are excerpts from my first edition eBook, Peak Performance MentalGame… (A new Second Edition book/eBook/Kindle book is coming in June, 2013)
Young track runner, Mitchell Gable, whether he knew it or not, was successfully using this key mental-training tool:
Step 4: Choose a positive-performance phrase
In this powerful and dynamic step, you choose language to start building a clear vision of the athletic performance you want. Simply ask yourself this question: What is a short positive-performance phrase that clearly and precisely states the performance I DO want? Remember to customize your answer, making it just right for you by using your own words.
For example, the thought I am hitting the ball hard, but right at the defenders could be changed to I am hitting the ball in the gaps. This mental-focus shift becomes your positive-performance phrase that clearly reminds you how you do want to hit.
Step 5: Visualize your positive-performance phrase—stay in the DO zone!
Whether you call this practice visualization, mental imaging, or mentally rehearsing, simply repeating your chosen positive-performance phrase is not enough: you must constantly think, say, feel, and see it. You will not get the results you want if your visualization doesn’t stir up positive feelings; if visualizing doesn’t change your emotional state, nothing will come of it. Your goal is to experience a relaxed body and calm mind every time you tune in to your positive-performance phrase and to visualize playing that way moment to moment, from beginning to end.