There are more
strategies for overcoming performance problems than you can possibly
name, so for our purposes, I organized them into families. Your
assignment is to look at each one carefully, and decide how you are
going to incorporate it into your performance improvement
program. They are listed here in the order in which you might
want to use them, though every person's situation is different, and so
the timing will vary. The link in the box will take you down the
page to a brief description of the technique, then a link there will
take you to a page that gives a more complete description.
|It is important to set Goals, so we
will know where we are going.
|It is important to use Breathing
exercises to maintain control and oxygenation.
|It is important to learn to Relax when
we are under stress.
|It is important to be able to Visualize
what we want to do and how we want to do it.
|It is important to Affirm
ourselves and our efforts regularly.
|It is important to keep a Log of our
has been shown to have
some positive impact on our performance and our persistence.
Athletes with no goals have nothing to work toward in practices or
games, and so waste a great deal of time and effort. Goals allow
us to focus on particular areas of our game we want to improve, and
present us with an ultimate "finish line" to cross. By setting
goals, we show that we have explored our environment
, analyzed our
strengths and weaknesses, and made value judgements about items of
importance to us. Since you have already explored the Goals
page, there is no need for a further link
for this technique.
seems like such a natural function that we might wonder why in the
world we'd even discuss
it here, but the reality is that stressful situations affect our
breathing in ways that is detrimental to our performance. If you
watched the final few holes of the 2004 British Open, you might have
noticed something relevant to this. Todd Hamilton, while holding
on to win his first ever major title, in a playoff, against Ernie Els
(who is ranked #2 in the world), was acknowledged by the announcers for
two things: remaining amazingly calm, and taking deep relaxing breaths
before each shot. The mention of the two things in connection was
action that helps us moderate some of the stress that intense
competitive situations brings on has
to be given respect if
we are serious about improving our performance. Breathing
techniques that enable us to relax, or that help us focus on specific
strategies for success, must
be looked at as beneficial. It is medically proven that stressful
situations cause our breathing to become more rapid and more shallow
than is helpful to us. When we are exerting our bodies at a high
need more oxygen to give us energy, and good breathing techniques
enable us to slow down our breathing and take deeper, healthier breaths.
Most breathing techniques were originally formulated
in the Far East, so some of the words or ideas may seem a little
"foreign" to you, but try to see the benefit that they have for you,
and not just the way the info is structured.
Check out some Breathing Strategies HERE
exercises are a natural
outgrowth of Breathing techniques, and can follow them logically in
your process. We use these strategies to help us eliminate some
of the nervousness that may accompany competitive situations.
Again, we find a wide variety of ways that we can get past our
nervousness, so the key is to pick ones that will be most effective for
. It can be
beneficial to use these strategies before practices (to open ourselves
to learning more) and games (to allow ourselves to calm down and play
our very best). Being relaxed may help us be more confident,
controlled, and observant of our environment. Since playing at
our highest level is our ultimate process goal, we will benefit from
being relaxed enough to pick up on the cues we need to adapt and adjust
during competition. You can even use these techniques after
games & practices
to help you put your competitive spirit or guilt over errors to
rest. Then you can get on with the rest of your day.
Check out Relaxation Procedures HERE
) is one
of the most progressive, and therefore most misunderstood, practices of
the high-level athlete. Ironically, it is also one of the oldest
techniques in use, but modern science and psychology have added
terminology that may make it seem more "mystical" than it really needs
to be. Visualization is simply the practice of seeing within our
mind the events that we expect to take place.
The martial arts
make extensive use of visualization, to help us anticipate the
movements and reactions of whomever we are in combat with. Modern
bobsledders at the Olympics visualize the entire run before they even
get into the car at the top of the hill. Baseball players as far
back as Ty Cobb have discussed using their time in the on-deck circle
to visualize the pitcher's throwing motion, and imagine what the
pitches will look like coming toward them. Arnold Palmer talked
regularly about using visualization to help him hit some of the most
amazing shots in golf - "seeing" the ball sailing high and long before
he'd even stepped up to hit them.
A current truism says, "If you can dream it, you can
make it happen." Well, visualization is like a controlled dream.
Check out the Visualization Process HERE
is a technique from Cognitive
(likely with Humanistic
tells us we are more likely to accomplish what we set out to do if we
think positively about our goals and about ourselves. The process
is to construct a set of positive statements we can recite whenever we
feel negativity creeping up on us. By repeating our, we can get ourselves
back on a positive, successful track.
Read about Affirmation Construction HERE
Keeping a Log
of our goals, preparation, performance, and success is an excellent way
for us to track our progress. It provides personal positive
reinforcement, and give us a written record of our process and
progress. It becomes our own case
, and leaves us with a basis for continuing improvement.
In your case, you already have a notebook that is just begging
to have daily entries made
to track your behavior. Lucky you.
Learn about Log Keeping HERE