Yes, I am a blogging slacker. I have 50% of a post all about names (choosing, wishing, disappointment and real ones) for you to read… if I ever finish it. I did research, but you know what? It turned into work, so I set it aside.
I also have become super busy with… well… skating!
Training for an A-team is hard work and requires a lot of time. In the past, I had more time to spend on other things… this year is different. Why? I want more.
How about we talk about track psychology, and getting out of your own head?
“I cannot believe I did that. That was so bad/dumb/awful.”
“Wow, I looked horrible out there.”
“I was useless, why am I even here?”
“I cannot do it, I will never get it.”
Everyone has this happen at one time or another, of that I am sure. I find it truly hard to believe anyone goes through a sports career (pro or other) thinking “I am the greatest ever and everything I do is wonderful.” Anyone who thinks like that may have mental deficiency and is probably a true-to-life-diagnosable narcissist.
So, how do I or you or anyone get over this? What should we do to get around this mental block?
Well, I can tell you, right now I am experiencing just that. I am in my head going over all the things I did wrong and everything that went wrong that caused a wrong action and caused me to fall out of a drill. Every time I close my eyes, I feel the pain, I see the fall from the outside, I see myself clumsily struggle to regain my feet.
So, what am I not seeing?
I am not seeing that regardless of the pain I felt, I got back up. And I pushed, and I tried, and I tried, and I tried. Eventually, physical pain will get the better of anyone, though.
And now, I am working on getting over this.
Stop beating yourself up. Seriously! We can keep saying how we did something wrong, and how bad it is, and it will never get better. As soon as we stop seeing what went wrong, we can see what went right.
My example from the practice: I spoke to coaches, we found the problem, and this week we are fixing my skates to get rid of the pain I have had for a while.
Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, we all will mess up at some time. And now, it is time to say “Hey, I messed up, and now I need to move on. Sorry self. I forgive you, self” (Yes, sometimes I talk to myself like that)
Visualize what you did right. Yes! You did something right before or after you did something that set you back mentally.
Step Four (The Final Step and the Hardest Step):
Change the way you think. From now on, instead of saying “Oh, I did that wrong!” say “Next time I will do it better, and I will master it.”
The hardest thing to stop saying is “can’t”. Well, as soon as you do, you will see you can. I am doing this right now. By typing out this post, I am thinking “Next week, next Sunday… I am going to do this drill, I will not fuck it up, and I will skate harder and faster. Because I already know I can.”
I recommend now, for any new athlete or seasoned players, a book. It is called The Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence. If you have read it already, read it again. If you have never heard of it until now, pick it up.
This book is not about how to train, it is about how to think. And really, these are lessons you can take with you anywhere and use any time.
Some other day, I may present you with a post about Names and the fun (and sometimes horror) of choosing one for Derby. And, I may come back to the Psychology of Sports, as it is something that fascinates me. For now… take these simple steps, and see where they take you.