We all know how important a psychological edge can be in sport. People can train and train and train, but if on match day their head goes, then guess what… they’re going home with a bunch of “what if’s”. It can happen to anyone, at any level. Fernando Torres, pictured, had lost his head in a high profile way, and clearly his performances have been affected for over a year. Suddenly, he scores one significant goal and his physiology and indeed his scoring markably improve. His head is sorted out and hopefully he will continue to perform in the way we know he can from now on. But wouldn’t it be easier to do something about it, rather than wait for over a year until you’re put through one-on-one with the goalkeeper at the Nou Campe.
I’ve worked with a number of professional sports people that for whatever reason have lost their psychological edge. It usually happens after a length of time out of the game because of injury, or a particularly bad run of form, or an influential person’s negative opinion. However it comes about, it usually manifests in the same way, a gradual and increasing loss of confidence and self-belief.
And why not? It stands to a reason at some point or another a person is going to allow self-doubt to creep in to what they do. We’ve all experienced this at some time, some of us have experienced it more than others, but we all know what this feels like. The problem is not just confined to sport either, what about when your confidence is dented in some other area of your life, it’s the same feeling. What could you possibly do about it?
Like it or not, we all allow ourselves to be affected by the whisperings of doubt. That little voice that comes up from nowhere and starts, “you’re not good enough. Who do you think you are? Why do you think you can do this? Do you honestly think you’re as good as them? This could be it, your career could be all over.” If you allow room for this voice to get louder and louder, and let it occupy your thoughts, even consume your thoughts, then it’s bound to leave its mark.
I have noticed that the people that I have worked with tend to be older, and although this does not just affect more mature people, there is probably a natural barrier that the young have to combat it called blind faith.
The good news is that we can do something about it. I have worked with footballers that have returned to playing and scored hatricks, showjumpers that have completed clear rounds, golfers that have gone on to have the rounds of their career, you name it and we can improve your performance. Self-doubt is a natural reaction to extreme confidence, they’re the two sides of the same coin, and just like confidence can be easily dented, self-doubt can be easily destroyed.
I do not believe that you could be a professional sports person in these times without working with an expert on your mind. So many others are, that if you want to compete on a level playing field then you need to take control of your own thoughts and beliefs. If you take your performance seriously then you must be at least curious to know what difference it could make.
More good news is that clear lantern can offer bespoke sports performance packages, and work with you in your own unique way to provide exactly the type of support that you need, be it aimed at particular events, continual improvement, or on-call support just when you need it. There is probably no good reason why you would delay, if you take your success seriously enough, then you will do something about it. I’ll speak to you soon…