The Mental Edge 27 Jan 2023

27 Jan 2023

Mental Edge Newsletter

Helping You Gain A Mental Edge

Can You Be Distracted By The Score Or Result?

It can be very difficult to get away from the score, the leaderboard or results.  After all, that’s why people often play their sport, for the competitive element – right?

You play to win, you hate getting beat.  You will do whatever it takes to win. You might sulk at home and be horrible to live with when you lose.  Or if you’re a child you may throw tantrums and cry on the journey home if things don’t go according to plan.

Is this a bad thing? 

In my opinion, NO most definitely not.  Can you tell me an athlete who has been successful but hasn’t had this edge.  When the opportunity to change the game or win is there, they’ll do their damnest to make it happen.

The difficult one, especially for parents and for loved one’s and friends is when the person’s behaviour is off.  When they won’t talk or sulk because of losses.  I’m sure we’ve all been there and seen it, and possibly done it ourselves.  I know I did in my younger days! 😊

Where does this behaviour come from? 

Often in addition to being fiercely competitive if an athlete is extrinsically motivated but doesn’t have awareness of this, they can create an awful amount of pressure on themselves.  An athlete who is extrinsically motivated is driven by external rewards and by other people.  They thrive off trophies, praise from coaches, parents, team-mates or the media.   this is when it can become tricky.

So how do you support an athlete who is highly competitive and extrinsically motivated?

For more read this blog post.

Further resources to help you block out distractions include:

In today’s short solo episode of Demystifying Mental Toughness I discuss an important component of Mental Toughness – control.  In sport, business and in everyday life it can be very easy to get distracted by external factors that are out of your control.  I go on to use Andy Murray’s gutsy recent performances at the Australian Open Tennis tournament to illustrate my points sharing an exercise to help you better understand how to go about controlling the controllables and be able to set yourself process goals.

This week’s vlog is also helpful where I go on to mention 4 important components of mental toughness goal orientation, achievement orientation, confidence in ability and interpersonal confidence and how sport plays a part in developing or damaging these characteristics depending on your levels of self awareness and where you choose to place your attention.  There are close links to managing distractions, controlling the controllables and focusing on the process!

For parents, tomorrow’s Conversations with Kids post I also look at this topic.  The title is named – What is it like in a bubble? It will be live tomorrow 28 January.  Keep your eyes open for some tips on how you can help your children remain on task and avoid distractions.

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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