Imagery

It’s the night before the big game.

You’ve put in the work. You’ve practiced and prepared. You’re ready.

And it’s possible you’re a little nervous.

Understandable. It’s (almost) go time. This is what you’ve trained for. Open gym. Early morning practices. Extra conditioning.

No more time to prepare. Now you’re waiting. And possibly getting a little more nervous.

You try to relax. You have dinner with the fam then watch a little Netflix. Definitely have the game on the brain though. You’re probably starting to envision how it will go.

Let’s turn that day dreaming into a mental skills technique to help improve your performance.

Time to see it and believe it.

The night before is a great time to visualize success in your upcoming competition.

Find a quiet place, close your eyes, and mentally take yourself through your performance.

See yourself arriving at the venue.

Take yourself through your warm up, the start of the contest, through the highlights, and end with a stellar performance.

A few tips:

Keep it positive. Present tense. Detailed. Involve all senses.

What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? What uniform are you wearing?

It can help to use your best performance as a guide. You can often draw on that performance to create the feeling & images you’re going for. If you’ve been at the specific location before, try to include specifics of it in your imagery.

Imagery comes easy to some athletes, they close their eyes and can see the whole competition play out. If it’s not as natural for you, that’s okay.

Just like free throws, imagery is a skill. And skills can be learned and developed.

To get coaching on imagery or any other current sport challenge, sign up for a free mini session! If it seems like a good fit, we’ll talk about working together.

Sport Parents, I See You.

Hey Sport Parents,

I see you. I see you loading the car before a weekend at the ball field. I see you running everyone to their practices. I see you in your team gear. The shirt, possibly the hat, and definitely the button.

I see you exhausted from all the pressure. All the options.

Does my athlete need a speed & agility coach? Should we spend extra time at the batting cages? Is it time for a new, more (or less) competitive team?

How do I encourage without being pushy?

How do I help my athlete get a fair shot?

How do I just know they’re safe at practice or with the coach/team? I know you’ve seen the news reports. And I know you worry.

And how do I do all this without being labeled a “helicopter” or even worse a “lawnmower” parent?

Seriously. It’s exhausting, overwhelming, and sometimes scary.

Parenting doesn’t end at practice.

I get that. And I get that lately parents face a lot of judgment.

You can’t go a day without seeing a “sport parent loses it” video on social media.

But that’s not you. You’re just a parent trying to stay involved, but not too involved. A healthy, medium level of involvement would be super. I hear you.

It’s not your fault. No one tells us how to become a competitive sport parent MVP. But they sure blame us when there’s an issue.

I firmly believe that most sport parents want what’s best for their kids. They just don’t always know how to go about it.

I mean what in the world do you say on the car ride home? You’ve for sure had some awkward or even intense convos on the way home from a disappointing tournament.  Been there.

Most of the initial client calls I get are from parents. Parents not looking to be the star themselves, but parents looking for help for their kiddos.

Knowing their athlete is struggling or that they’re on the verge of greatness.

Either way, we’re here. For both of you.

In a free mini session, we’ll talk about what’s going on, get some quick mindset tips, & talk about our family friendly program.

Can’t wait to chat! We can both wear our sport parent buttons.

Arrowing Your Goals

“I make a lot of arrows, okay?”

That was me, talking to my hubby about how things were going to be different now. How I was going to start taking action…well actually start completing the action I take.

I had just gotten all situated on the couch. One dog next to me and the other “buckling me in” across my lap because that’s just how we sit on the couch. I was bummed because my computer didn’t just start up when I touched the laptop mouse pad. I assumed it was a low battery. Ugh. Gotta get up and get a cord. And we were all situated.

Then I remembered–I’m working on changing!

What does that have to do with my computer? I had actually turned it off (like really shut it down) when I left the office the other day. Game changer!

You may not be impressed, but this is usually a detail that I cannot be bothered with. I mean, why? Just close the lid.

Besides, I may want to open it back up in a few minutes and lord knows I don’t want to close any tabs. Feels too permanent. Yes, it seems I have some issues.

Anyhoo, something inside me on Friday said, “It’s time to step up.” And that’s where I started. With shutting down my computer. 🙂

I’ve been taking mini-steps for awhile, but as a quote I see often on social media says, “You won’t see a big change until you change what you do each day” or something like that. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the saying “Don’t break a promise to yourself.” I see it on Pinterest a lot lately. And I do that. A lot. Not Pinterest, but breaking promises to me.

So it began. With actually shutting down my computer on a Friday evening.

On Saturday, I cleaned out my closet.

Today, I’m actually completing the tasks in my planner. Let’s face it, up until today my planner has been mostly aspirational. Very well-intentioned, but not usually folllowed through.

This is where the arrows come in.

When a task doesn’t get done on the scheduled day, no worries. I just simply draw an arrow indicating it will be done on the next day.

No problem, right? I’m pretty chill about scheduling. It’s cool. I’ll get to it tomorrow.

Then tomorrow rolls around and I find myself “arrowing” again.

After a week of arrowing, a task usually just gets dropped off the planner. I mean it starts to look a little pathetic, so obviously I should just face reality and quit the task completely.

Now you’re starting to see the problem.

I don’t do this with the “must do’s.” Well sometimes, but if there’s a specific deadline I don’t have the luxury. For example, I’m giving a test in one of my college classes this week and I don’t have the option to arrow past Wednesday. [Full disclosure: Write test was on the list last Thursday, but has been arrowed a couple of times.]

But for the tasks that seem optional (but are definitely not if I want to continue to grow my business), I arrow.

But I arrow no longer!

Day 1: Computer Shut Down

Day 2: Closet Cleanout

Day 3: Cross Off Previously Arrowed Tasks

Day 4: Look Out, World!

Can you relate? Have you been arrowing your goals? Let’s chat about it in a free Mini Session!

How’s Your Pivot Game?

Sometimes you’re in the thick of it. And you’re gonna need to pivot.

Maybe you’ve made a commitment and you’re wishing you hadn’t.

Maybe you’re on a team that isn’t a good fit for you.

Maybe you have a boss who doesn’t value the leadership style you prefer.

Maybe you’re involved in an organization that seems to be crushing your soul and taking all of your free time.

Whatever the situation, you’re in the thick of it. Trying to honor your commitment and maintain healthy well-being. It can be difficult.

When I’m in the thick of it, I do a lot of work to pump myself up and get in the right mindset. The other day I was doing just that. I was feeling empowered. Ready to take on the world. Listening to an Audible book that spoke to me. I even let out the occasional “hell yeah”  and an “I am relentless” as drove down the road behind a little red pickup who was cruising along checking out the crops.

I carried this badass, I’ve got this attitude throughout the day until…

I got the email.

Day derailed.

You know the type of email. The one that makes you say, Can you even believe that? Was that necessary? Seriously, who does that?! I cannot with this. How am I supposed to carry on my day now? I’m just going to sit here.

So I’m mad at the world. Unable to function. The email sender wins. Because now I’m done. I must eat all of the things and do all of the social media scrolling and mentally argue with the sender of the email. Obviously, I can’t be counted on to be productive now.

And I’m only hours from my “hell yeah” and “I am relentless” morning.

I know I’ve gotta get back there, but how?

Ever been there?

We think we’ve got this whole mindset thing down until…

Until a coach says something critical to you about your performance that day.

Until you have a disagreement at school.

Until your organization schedules a last minute meeting.

Until you get injured at practice.

This is when our mindset matters most, right? When stuff happens.

We know from brain research that when we’re in these situations, a tiny ball of cells is in charge. The size of a peanut. This “peanut brain” runs things for approximately 90 seconds. After that, we can disconnect from the loop.

Ever ruminate? Think/replay the same thoughts over and over? That’s the peanut brain stuck in a negative loop.

We have to step in and break the circuit. Our brains prefer to keep the loop going because it’s easy BUT it makes us miserable. And in my case, has me headed to Taco Bell while mentally drafting an angry (yet clever) social media status.

So what do we do instead? How do we disconnect from the negative thought loop?

Feel the feeling. Go ahead and be mad for a couple of minutes. Skipping this step leads to more trouble down the line. But don’t stay stuck here.

Gather yourself. Often with a breath and a refocus routine. Something that cues you to take action.

Realize you have a choice. You don’t have to (and often shouldn’t) like or condone what has happened, but you do have to make a choice.

Pivot. You have to pivot. The game has changed. A defender meeting you in the lane doesn’t mean you’re done. Lost. Game over. You pivot and go around. You can pivot in your mind too. Pivot and move to a new neural circuit. To a new thought loop.

Make the choice. Pivot. Take the power back.

Hell yeah. You are relentless. So am I.

Let’s work on our pivot game together. Sign up for a free mini session!