Sports Psychology Tips: How to Unleash Your Full Potential - Part Two
If you’re an ambitious coach or athlete wanting to learn how to unleash your full potential, read on!
In the first post – “How to Achieve Your Full Potential – Part One“, I shared 3 reasons why you may not achieve your goals.
- You fail to take ownership of your success
- You don’t understand why you play or coach
- Self-doubt holds you back from achieving your goals
This post follows on for that with 3 more traps that I have noted a lot of athletes and coaches fall into. Don’t be one of them!
1. You find lots of excuses for not getting started
If you are a coach or athlete who doesn’t take ownership of your future you’re likely to find it easy to put off getting started with a new approach. Or there is a good chance that you’ll find some excuses to quit easily. Statements like, “I’ll start tomorrow” or “next week I’ll do it” will flow from your tongue. Procrastination will likely be a large obstacle for you to overcome. You might even be waiting for the perfect time to start because you don’t feel completely ready now.
How do you overcome procrastination?
Creating a plan is a great starting point, perhaps ask yourself what you would like to achieve by a certain date (maybe one year from now). Then detail the smaller goals that can help you achieve the end goal. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll create some momentum TODAY by tackling some of the easier, smaller goals and then tomorrow look at some slightly harder goals.
Your alternative is to stay in your comfort zone and settle for second best. Why would you do that when you could take a risk-free approach under your control? In the short term you may not notice too much difference. However, in the longer-term it will inevitably come back to bite you if you don’t heed the warning – and you’ll ask yourself those annoying “if only I had done this” or “if only I had done that” I could have then been in a much better position.
Here is an example of how this process worked for a professional rugby league player that I have supported. He had experienced a number of injuries over the years due to the physical nature of the sport. As a result, we sat down and discussed what he could do to help himself and prevent his body breaking down in future (his long-term goal). We went on to brainstorm different ideas and he then set 3 short terms goals to give himself the best chance: a. Improve his sleep patterns, b. Ensure that he stretched for 15-20 minutes daily, c. Improve his nutrition. We then went into further detail and looked at exactly what he would do for each goal.
2. You channel your energy towards the wrong goals
This is a common issue, especially in individual sports such as golf or triathlon. There will be periods where your attention has been taken up by something you have read, listened to on a podcast or seen on YouTube. Then all of a sudden you “react” and become intensely focused on this “thing” believing it will improve your performance. Being reactive in today’s world appears to be one of the biggest challenges for many athletes or coaches because of the influence of technology – yet it is a method which is miles away from being strategic and can hugely consume your energy, meaning that your potential drains away. Make a promise to yourself to have a “parking zone” for reactive ideas, sleep on them and chat to trusted friends or coaches for advice before wasting your valuable time on them. Your focus should always be to prioritise being “effective” on high value activities that will help you achieve your goals rather than simply being “busy” on low value activities.
3. You don’t mix with enough people you regard as successful
If you spend time with talented people who have drive, ambition, energy, an ability to adapt to change, as well as being hard-working this is likely to impact on you in a positive way. You will automatically, raise your game as you’ll likely be motivated to learn from them and out-do them as a coach or beat them as an athlete. The reverse is also true – if you don’t hang around with the right people who are striving hard to get to the next level why should you get there?
Take some time out, give it some thought – are you doing things the right way and giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed?
A final blog will follow soon with the last 3 reasons why you may not reach your potential, keep your eyes open or sign up to The Mental Edge to develop better routines and habits that will enable you to achieve your aims.
To get in touch for one 2 one Sports Psychology Coaching with a Leading Sports Psychologist, David Charlton, based near Newcastle upon Tyne – Face to face, via the telephone, SKYPE or online via email available.
Sport Psychologist located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally. Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence. With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.
T: +44 7734 697769
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