Of all the skills required throughout the 5 Forces of Mental Mastery, Force 3, Self-control, is one that needs very little convincing of just how important this Force is.
It's time to look at Force Number 2 of our 5 Forces of Mental Mastery
Motivation and Commitment.
A huge amount of hard work is required to reach the top of your sport and be the best you can be. There is no way around that. It takes an incredible amount of effort, coaching and the proper focus to achieve your goals in sports.
Motivation and commitment towards your sport and those goals, is what will drive you closer and keep you moving forward as you face the ups and downs during the process.
Your drive and motivation is what gets you going. Its that energy you feel when you are ready to get started, rolling forward with your goals in sports. Getting started is often times the hardest thing to do and that is where the drive and motivation component are absolutely essential.
Commitment is the single item that keeps you going. It means you have the fortitude and focus to keep moving forward in the direction of your goals. Even when it gets hard, even when you don’t want to go through the push, commitment is what steps up and take you through the task. Remember your why, that is the reason you commit and that is the reason you will find your how you will accomplish you goal.
Why is it so important to have the proper motivation and commitment? There are some days you just don’t feel like pushing through. You may be having a bad day, something may have come up, you may feel like you have other things to do. Those days come, it does to everyone in sports. It is part of human behavior and this is where athletes suffer most to being conquered. Remember our focus is to be UNCONQUERABLE.
It is motivation and commitment that get you past these hurdles. Despite the setback, or things getting in the way that particular day, or just not feeling it, it is motivation, drive and commitment that will make you step up to the plate and get the work done needed to get one step closer to your goal.
I want to take a look at some costly Myths and Mistakes about motivation and commitment that are common with athletes
MYTH 1. Motivation begins before you even get started.
One of the most surprising things about commitment and motivation is that it does not appear magically prior to you starting something. It actually comes after you begin. It is common to think otherwise. Athletes love to read a motivation quote, or watch a inspiring video on YouTube, but that is not where motivation begins, it begins after the task has been started.
Now that’s not saying it cant be motivating to watch a video, or pull inspiration from a quote at the right time. However, the “moment” that is active is far more powerful of a motivator.
Action is what leads to motivation. Remember, objects tend to travel much further once they have started their motion and that’s no different than being an athlete. Once you have begun a task, it is much easier and motivating to keep moving forward and keep doing the action that is leading you to your goals.
You don’t really need a ton of motivation to begin something. Motivation is something you need to keep pushing, to keep in the gym, to get you up when your down and to keep the end goal in mind. These things start when you are deep into the process. It is much easier to often times finish a task then it is to begin it.
MYTH 2. If I write my goals down, they will come true.
Although writing down your goals is a powerful tool, it is not just that simple.
I have worked with athletes and clients that have mapped out and planned their entire goal strategy on paper, yet never accomplish it, yet alone get it off the ground.
Again, writing down your goals is important, but there is far more action required after that. Writing them down doesn’t mean you will succeed and get to your goals, if only it was that simple. Writing down your goals is a great way to start to travel down the path and map out what may need to be done, however there is a ways to go still.
MYTH 3. If you visualize your goal, it will come.
Not quite. I believe visualization to be an incredible tool, but for the purpose of accomplishing your goals, it is not going to get you there alone.
You have to be very careful with visualization. I see lots of people visualize success and that’s all they do. They think about it, visualize what life will be like with their success and accomplishments but never get around to really practicing what it takes to reach their goals.
It is unreal thinking to imagine success and that visualizing success will make it happen. It will actually do the opposite and make it harder to reach your goals if that is all you do.
I see a lot of people spend way to much time fantasizing about success and goals. This is part of the journey, but this is not the only part, not by far, you have to go through struggle, pain and effort through your journey, simply visualizing it will not make it happen.
Assessing Your Motivation and Commitment
Here are a few simple questions to ask yourself regarding your Motivation and Commitment. I want you to answer the following questions to help you get a clearer picture of why your in your sport and moreover keep these answers close to you as it often helps the most when you may struggle at times with the Motivation and Commitment aspect of your sport.
Each athlete is different when it comes to Motivation and Commitment. Some have no issues at all with it, some struggle everyday with it. It is important to look at your answers above and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. That will make it easier especially on the days that you just don't feel like it!
What is the Unconquerable Mindset?
Mindset is how you see your situation, how you see yourself and the world around you. Simply put, your mindset is your simple perspective on situations in your life.
The crazy thing about individuals mindset is that they are all different. Put any two people in a situation and one will often see things and perceive things completely different than the other. This often is based on our beliefs systems, established when we were young. One person in the situation may see things as frustrating and unbeatable, while the other in the same situation may be motivated, confident and sees victory.
Some athletes see a bend in the road when adversity hits and some see the end of the road. These are products of individual mindset.
The best part about mindset is it is NOT fixed. You can control it, dictate it and respond to it. You have full control. Many of your belief systems were established by the time you were 6 years old. You had very little control of it. Your belief system was established almost 100% by those you were surrounded by as a young child. The key is realizing you control it, you can make it yours and change it. You can shift to a growth mindset and as an athlete you MUST!
You don’t want to be the athlete who always seems to self sabotage when things start going your way. You want the mindset that allows you to learn, stay focused and committed to the task at hand.
You don’t want to be the athlete that plays great in practice, but when it comes to games, you struggle. You don’t want to be the athlete that lets one mistake turn into two, then three, then four and on and on. You want to have the mindset that overcomes adversity, embraces mistakes and learns from them and performs at their peak performance levels every single time you compete.
With the right mental performance training, you can learn to stay calm, develop the necessary routines and habits needed to show up when it matters most time and time again.
This is what mental performance is all about!
The Unconquerable Mindset Equals The Unconquerable Perspective.
Often times our minds see things one way, or that there can only be one way to perceive something. That, of course, is not the case at all.
It is important that we remain open to other perspectives, other ways, other outcomes that exist and choose the one that will be the most beneficial to you as an athlete in a current situation and will help you get from where you are, to where you are trying to go.
Perspective is something that really creates your reality. Your beliefs and how you see things, really does shape your world. Often times, I see the biggest, strongest, most athletic players fail at their craft because their mindset is off. They are constantly falling short of their peak performance levels because they have not developed or even attempted to work on creating the Unconquerable Mindset. They will continue to struggle and continue to fail when it come to reaching their true maximum potential.
As a mental performance coach, I provide the answers of why athletes fall short, or aren’t living up to their potential and more importantly I make sure to share the tools necessary to get athletes performing at their best consistently.
I see athletes train hard in the gym, do all the small things great and work their bodies extremely hard, yet when it comes time to take all that hard work and perform, they struggle. The lack of mental performance training has them unprepared, not ready and often fearful when they compete.
The Massive Importance of a Unconquerable Mindset
One of the biggest challenges as an athlete is to make sure you are in constant control of your performance and have a clear path for any goals you set for yourself.
Without the understanding that you, as an athlete, do control these things, you may struggle to get the results and it may lead to you even giving up or even stop working hard.
Athletes that doubt themselves and don’t realize they are in full control start to doubt several things associated with their sport and things can start to fall apart quickly.
I have worked with athletes that will blame genetics, or lack of talent and make excuses like that is just who they are, there is nothing they can do about it. So they transfer programs, or higher other trainers to work on more physical stuff and the problem just keeps rolling over and over again.
Having the right mindset is so vitally important to overcome any of these negative feelings or circumstances.
As you develop the Unconquerable Mindset, you will start to see how you directly are responsible for bringing the necessary energy to your workouts, training, and games. How you, by staying focused and positive, especially when things get difficult, will step up to the challenge and actually accomplish more than you thought you could. Not only will you see short term positive results for this, but you are building long term sustainable growth, development and promise as well.
By learning these skills and developing the Unconquerable Mindset you will be able to reach your full potential. You can grow and develop your mindset just like you can your body.
The Unconquerable Mindset is so critical because athletes with these two types of mindsets (fixed and growth) think very differently and react to information and adversity very differently. They respond differently and view performance in a different way, that is why it is so critical to get on the path of the Unconquerable Mindset.
Remember, athletes with an average or fixed mindset are most effected and receptive when they are being given information about how they have done. For example, getting testing results or the details or stats during their competitive performance.
The Unconquerable Mindset is most receptive when being told what they can do to improve.
You see the difference? Where the fixed mindset asks, “how did I do?” vs the Unconquerable Mindset asks, “What can I do better next time?”.
The fixed mindset is perceived, the learning mindset is growth, or that of a Champion.
You should be able to see exactly which mindset you want as an athlete looking to reach your full potential.
Athletes with an Unconquerable Mindset deal with adversity differently. The fixed mindset athlete are discouraged by adversity because that hurts the ego that is built into their belief of who they are. This leads often to fear, giving up, not working hard and a lot of negative issues for the athlete.
The Unconquerable Mindset sees adversity as a potential to grow, a potential to improve and an opportunity to learn and get better. This is where you need to be!
Adversity or a setback is a chance to make a great comeback for athlete with the Unconquerable Mindset. They see a small bend in the road, not the end of the road and it tends to make the athlete push and work harder through the adversity. This is absolutely HUGE!
It's time to BECOME UNCONQUERABLE!