Winning or losing – how much is in the mind?

 Recent events in the AFL finals (or quarter and semi finals to European folks), have shown the dramatic effects of the mind games professional players experience with two top Aussie teams getting absolutely hammered recently when it came to their big day. Now with the all important final only one sleep away, which team has got their act together mentally as well as physically?

Resilience really jumps out at you on the playing field when your team is down on points but if you stay focused and don’t lose your temper or lose faith in the power of your team mates, you’re more likely to come back on top. Staying focused on the positives and self belief, are the dominant perspective of successful people and successful teams.

Positive thinking and a healthy perspective on change are things that you can grow with a bit of training. That’s not to say that you’ve got rose coloured glasses on but you can train your mind to engage the neural pathways that make the highway to success bigger than the highway to failure. Don’t let your thoughts get sucked down that black hole every time something goes wrong!!

Resilience is defined as ‘‘the capacity of a group of employees (read players), within a team to manage the everyday pressure of work and remain healthy, to adapt to change, and to be proactive in positioning for future work challenges’’

So ask yourself, ‘How can I be PROACTIVE when things aren’t going well?”

FIVE TIPS for managing performance

  1. Set boundaries.
    When pressure was building for James, because a client was very needy and ringing at all hours, he had to set boundaries, step away from his computer late in the evening and tell the client that he wasn’t available until the next morning after a meeting. This gave him space and time for some ‘self care’.
  2. Have a self care routine
    That could be several glasses of wine but that might not bring the benefits of clarity which helps to improve your focus. Exercise increases those lovely endorphins that make us feel good so try to make time for exercise or even a meditation.
  3. Talk to a friend or colleague
    Talk about how to move forward rather than going into victim mode. The blame game might make you temporarily feel better but the feeling doesn’t help you to grow.
  4. Take a few long deep breaths
    In fact, take more than a few. See how few breaths you can take in 30 seconds. If you really want to get technical, time your heart rate before you begin and after 30 seconds. I bet your heart rate will be lower. Lower heart rate leads to feeling less pressured and can reduce blood pressure.
  5. Accept what you really can’t change
    Don’t get into the thought pattern of, I should have done this or that. Acknowledge that there are some things you just can’t change and instead focus on what you can do now.
  6. Instead of reacting to pressure, respond in a thoughtful way
    Be aware of your triggers and don’t over react. Yes – that’s a bonus tip!

It’s a bit of a minefield out on the pitch just as it is in our day to day life when things get us into a dark place. The teams on the pitch will have had the best coaches in the business working with them to help them to be at the peak of their performance. That includes mental wellbeing as well as physical fitness.

Look after your health and wellbeing and improve performance with resilience training.
Contact Elena for details of Resilience Training to evaluate and develop the ability to work under pressure and stay on top of your game. Mobile: +61407445497 Email: [email protected]