Obscure words = obscure actions

A vague word

It has become a habit to assign victories and defeats to the “mind”.

We hear everywhere things such as: “it’s all in your head”, “he won the mental game”, “she had the psychological hand over her adversaries” or “you need to overcome your mental limits”, etc..

There is great many games, events, competitions where coaches, athletes, TV presenters talk about the mental side of the game.

But the word “mind” or “mental” has no real meaning apart from being a general term. Most of the time, we use it when we cannot explain why “it works” or why “it doesn’t work”.

If we want to compare it to the physical part of the game, it is just like we were saying: “he won with his body movements” or “she had a body advantage over the competitors”. That’s obviously not precise enough and not even worth analysing a performance this way.

Be more precise

Even though everybody talks about it, the mind is still a bit mysterious and intimidating for many.

A good way to comprehend it and take more accurate actions on it is to dissect it and split it into distinct parts. That’s when we have better chances to get out of the mystery and be in charted territory.

Transforming the obscurity into brightness

In my coaching process, I encourage the athlete to become more and more precise about mental aspects as we evolve. This provide us with a better understanding of problems and thus, a better understanding of the actions to take in order to solve those problems. Then we make a plan, and we work on it. My job consist in transforming the obscurity into brightness.

How can you apply it for yourself ?

Start by identifying your issues as precisely as possible.

For example, saying something like: “I had no sensations during the match” can be 100% true but the statement is still not accurate enough to take action on it. It leaves you with another unanswered question, which is “what should I do to have more sensations during an event ?”.

Instead, focus on specific aspects of your lack of sensations during that match: “I performed with too much strength, my muscle were tense and my sensations were hindered in the process”. With that knowledge, you can realize that performing too violently lead to imprecise sensations, bad coordination and lack of lucidity. And you should explore another mindset and training on that matter during your next match to be more fluid.

That’s how you build intelligently on skills and evolve efficiently.

What you have to gain from it

By themselves, very few athletes have solutions to improve their mental edge or deal or with mental issues. Even less solutions to take action on those issues and improve their daily efficiency during trainings.

When athletes have a better understanding of their problems, and when they apply consistent work on them, they realize that there is a whole world of new possibilities to be discovered out there. They also discover they have a profound advantage over their competition.

Being precise about what you want to improve or change is a necessity to becoming a high-level athlete.