You often don’t know how the competition is going to end
I just got off the phone with one of my rockstar athletes. If you don’t already know, I work with a lot of young gymnasts. Gymnastics is a sport of inches, and mental toughness can really make or break their performance.
At the Canadian Provincial Championships this past weekend, one of my athletes got to experience first-hand the power of mental toughness (and mental toughness training).
She fell a bunch of times in her first event. She blew it. She was nervous, as it was taking longer for the judges to start the competition, and frankly she had way too much time to think. And with that time, she allowed her mind to wander away from present-focus. She started thinking about the ‘what ifs?’ (future-focus). What if I fall? What if I don’t qualify for nationals in my final year? And on and on…
…She was beat before she even started the event.
Now, anyone who’s competed in, coached, or even watched gymnastics could probably guess how it would go from there. The rest of the competition would be a write-off and it would have nothing to do with the athlete’s physical ability.
However, that’s not what happened with my athlete. Through the power of mental toughness training (we’ve been working together for over one year now), my athlete was able to shift her focus back to what she needed to do right now. She stopped worrying about the future, since she identified that her future-focused thoughts were what had taken her out in the first event. She ‘course-corrected’ right in the middle of competition (a sign of the beginning of Mental Toughness Mastery!).
So what happened next?
She finished 2nd, 3rd and 7th in her next 3 events. And, she qualified for Nationals. An amazing feat in and of itself, but one made even more extraordinary because of how the day started.
I asked her what happened. She explained that she learned from the debacle that was her first event. She said at that moment she knew if she continued to focus on her ‘what ifs?’, she wouldn’t achieve her goal. So, in her words, she ‘switched it’ and ‘gave it her all’.
This may sound simple, however her ability to ‘shift it’ in the middle of competition came directly from her dedicated mental toughness training and resulting heightened awareness.
So take from this amazing story what you like. What I took away is that a competition is never lost. There we other athletes who fell less than her in the competition, and she was able to win because of her mental toughness.
I also took away that the work/coaching I do with athletes, makes a massive difference in their capacity to perform and can in fact turn their performance around on a dime.
So, in honor of this discovery, I’m offering up a Free Performance and Mental Toughness Consultation to the first 10 serious athletes who respond to this email.
It’s not a big promotion, just an opportunity for more athletes to access what my athlete did this past weekend.
Just email Coach Kara if you’d like to receive a Free performance and mental toughness consultation.