Courtesy of Dr. Peter Thompson
Ultimately, all learning and growth is emotional. Emotions are what bind us to any experience, including our performances. To illustrate this point you might recall one of your best performances ever. It may have even happened today! If you take a moment to re-live that experience, in all of its visual, kinesthetic, olfactory, and auditory glory, you may find yourself eliciting positive thoughts and emotions as you deeply connect to that experience. The best part about doing this is that you then create increased opportunities for staying on this roll. In other words, you create “upward spirals” of positivity that will encourage you to accept greater challenges, and give you the confidence to continue growing (Fredrickson, 2006). Said another way, nobody ever gets better by focusing on what is wrong!
So, how do we get on a roll, and stay there? Well, if you’re a hot dog someone cooks you and places you there. Since you’re not, let’s explore some strategies:
- Recall past successes.
- Access the strengths that got you there.
- Carry these successes into the present, and then, the future.
- Recall how good it feels to be powerful, confident, focused, and ready for any challenge.
- Access your intuition. Every competitive athlete knows, in their heart, what they are capable of achieving. Trust your body to take you there, and beyond, as you get your head out of the way.
- Set your intention. Pay attention to that!
- Merge the energy of your championship meet to your vision for success.
- Have some fun! You now get to race AND to dare your opponent to match you!
About Dr. Peter Thompson
Dr. Peter Thompson was an elite level swimming coach for over 30 years. He currently maintains a private High Performance and Personal Development coaching practice in Rochester, NY, teaches, and consults with a local collegiate athletic department. Dr. Pete is available for one-on-one, small group, and team workshops via phone, skype, and in person. www.ThompsonCoachingGroup.com; [email protected]