Impact on Performance – The Psychological Transformation
The psychological transformation through mental skills training and its impact on your performance can hit you like a thunderbolt, and that’s not an exaggeration!
The psychological transformation is actually a gradual process, and its full effect will be evident in a few weeks or at best a couple of months.
Let’s look at just a few areas of your game where you will start seeing quick results”
- With the guidelines on goal setting available to you, you now know where you are headed and what you have to do to get there
- You are now aware of what motivates you and with this motivation the enthusiasm to play to potential dramatically increases.
- Your stress reduces and you are a lot more relaxed before a game as you apply one of the many techniques outlined in this book.
- You become assertive in your attitude to competition and the fear of failure dims with your new assertiveness.
- Positive self-talk boosts your confidence.
- You learn to overcome distractions.
- You learn to drive out negative thoughts.
- Visualization increases your pregame rehearsal and your self-image and self-esteem improve as you start winning.
- Your understanding of what focus entails improves and you are able to apply it to your game.
- You begin to think like a champ, and this does a whole lot of good to your approach. Your performance takes precedence. Winning is still important, but a “high quality performance” is what you will probably go after and train for; this is single-minded dedication.
These are just a few ways in which your mental processes are transformed to positively impact your performance.
To get the best out of mental skills training, you have to first know what you want from it:
- I want to be more assertive.
- I want to let go of my ego and get into learning mode.
- I need to work on my motivation levels.
- I want to be more consistent in my performance.
- I want to fight pre-match anxiety.
Any training program works much better if it is goal directed.
Reaching the ideal state:
When you go through a transformation, you sometimes reach an “ideal performance state:” This is a mental state where all aspects of your mental skills training come together, and you deliver a superior performance. This may not happen in every match, but it is the endeavor of every grappler and combat athlete to get into this ideal state, and mental preparation is the vehicle that can take you there.
Ideal Performance State – The Zone/Flow II
The ideal performance state is referred to as the zone or flow in sports parlance. The zone or flow is the pinnacle of sporting achievement, when an athlete plays in an effortless manner and yet delivers a top quality faultless performance. Those who have been in that state, call it a magical state where performance is exceptional, spontaneous, automatic, and flowing. An athlete is able to concentrate completely and does not feel any pressure. He or she is sure of his game and technique and goes about executing with precision and timing. The body and mind work in tandem and perform like a well-oiled machine; the only thing is that the grappler is anything but a machine. In the zone, grapplers or combat athletes are cool, collected, and extremely shrewd in their moves and tactics, not machine-like.
Flow, control, effortless moves and countermoves, complete confidence-the match moves smoothly in your favor almost throughout from start to finish.
How do you get into the zone? Three key factors make this happen:
- The body and mind work in perfect synchronization because your mental preparedness matches your level of physical readiness for the encounter. Subconsciously, you perceive this combination of preparedness to be more than equal to the challenge at hand.
- Your thought processes are positive throughout – before the event, during the match, and also when locked in a tough situation.
- The challenge in mental skills training is to be able to apply the techniques. A true test of learning is in being able to apply. Only when you can apply will you be able to truly transform yourself mentally to deliver a better game.
The mental framework of a person in the zone:
- Not preoccupied with winning – the mind is focused on playing a perfect game and tackling the opponent in the best way possible
- Assertive attitude toward the opponent – not confrontational or intimidating
- Proactive approach – initiates the moves
- Ego is under check – no showing off
Finer aspects of being in the flow:
The experience of being the zone during a match can be a wonderful one, and its magic can be felt by you from the start to the finish of the encounter.
- Distractions no longer affect you – your mind is conditioned to take it in stride
- You pay complete attention to your opponent’s tactics
- Your alertness is at peak levels
- You have negativity under control – positive and relevant thoughts fill your mind
- Your behavior is not forced on or put on – you are completely natural in your confidence and assertiveness. Your confidence comes through in the manner in which you execute your moves-precisely, accurately, authoritatively.
- You feel energized and activated, but at the same time you are extremely composed and cool
- Memory retrieval and recall is smooth and does not let you down
- You feel like you are in complete control- you are able to “make things happen” – everything that you planned works out smoothly.
- You feel a sense of power
- You truly enjoy the game and may even feel a little sorry when it is over. You have the mental energy to go on.
- You feel a sense of satisfaction at a match well played at the end of the game.
To achieve success, your mind and your body have to work in tandem and your mind has to be free of any negativity. A grappler or combat athlete can achieve peak performances on a more consistent basis by reaching the zone or flow through regular mental preparation and complete focus.
Lloyd Irvin is a martial arts coach. He holds the rank of 7th degree black belt in Thai Jitsu, 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 1st degree black belt in judo. In 2002 he was named The United States Judo Federation International Coach of the year. Lloyd’s coaching experience includes having taught Secret Service, FBI & SWAT. Read more on: http://www.lloydirvin.com