The Mental Edge 20 Jan 2023

20 Jan 2023

Mental Edge Newsletter

Helping You Gain A Mental Edge

What Is Important To You When You Play Your Sport?

What is important to you when you play your sport?

Often I find in conversations I have with athletes, coaches and parents there is a huge emphasis placed on winning, scoreboards and scorecard.  Is this a bad thing? Arguably it’s not after all being competitive, wanting to win and engage in close competitions and big matches is a good thing, right!  After all, these are the hallmarks of top athletes. 

Yet, where does this competitive edge cause problems?   I notice it:

  • When things start going wrong and athletes lose form.
  • When athletes become obsessed with results and outcomes.
  • When athletes worry too much about what other people think.
  • When athletes expectations are out of sync with the reality.

Getting the balance right between being competitive, being able to place extrinsic rewards and factors to one side is key in my book.  And to be able to control the controllables when you do compete is also vital, focusing on things that are within your control.

If you struggle with the latter, controlling the controllables,  this is when you’re likely to find that sport can be an emotional rollercoaster.  It may drain you from time to time.  You’ll also likely struggle to understand what is important to you in your sport and why you actually train and compete.

So I’d like you to consider this for the coming year.   Make a note of your top 3 reasons for taking part in your sport? Consider what excites you about your sport and what gets you out of bed in a morning.

This quiz could be useful for you too, it’ll likely help you consider different factors that you hadn’t thought of even if you aren’t a youngster.

You may also find this recent blog helpful to recognise how sport plays a part in developing your character. 

From these resources and further ideas below my hope is that you’ll be able to remain on track for longer periods and be able to deal better with pressures that you will likely face this coming year.

Further resources to give you some inspiration in this respect include:

This week’s Demystifying Mental Toughness podcast episode, #153, where Sports Psychologists, former and current Premiership Rugby players, former Super League players, Professional Coaches and Mental Performance Coaches share insights into the development of mental toughness and optimising performance in rugby.

For parents, tomorrow’s Conversations with Kids post is in sync with this topic.  The title is named – What is important to you?  It will be live tomorrow 21 January.  Keep your eyes open for some tips on how you can help your children instill some positive habits.

Quote of the week



David Charlton Sports Psychologist

Best Wishes 

David Charlton

Online Sports Psychologist | Mental Performance Coach who supports many highly motivated athletes, young and old, developing their skills or who are already highly skilled so that they gain a mental edge and get the most from their talent across the globe from USA/Canada to Great Britain and Ireland to UAE, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, using ONLINE Video Conferencing.    

Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence

Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast

Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub 

Author of The Mental Edge

With over a decades’ experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to transfer their skills from training to competitive situations, under pressure.

T: +44 7734 697769

E: [email protected]

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