One of the exercises in my book, “Next Level Coaching: How To Use Sport Psychology to Educate, Motivate, and Improve Student-Athlete Performance” tackles this question in the chapter on mental toughness. I’ll distinguish among the three mindsets below:
- Strong will to win (outcome-oriented)
- Winning is of great importance
- Competitive fight is geared toward the end goal
- Value a quiet and clear mind
- Emphasis is on trusting yourself
- A state of flow discovered by playing on instinct and feel
- A combination of will power and still power
- A strong preference for winning
- A strong competitive spirit
- Focus is on the things you can control in the moment
The athlete needs to determine which mindset works best for them during competition. Then the athlete needs to draw from that mindset when the outcome is going to be decided. Just recently my Girls Tennis Team did this exercise. The overwhelming choice for mindset preference was the one featuring Excel Power. In my sports psychology class the largest number of students said the still power mindset worked best for them. My personal view is the excel power mindset is the preferred mindset on which to focus. The reason why is the excel mindset focuses on things you can control in a positive and competitive way. The emphasis is on bringing out the best in you in that moment.
Check out this exercise and 74 others in the book. Your mindset is a key element of success. Until next time… get in the game.