This awesome photo is of Amanda, one of my super dedicated NCAA college athletes. When I started working with Amanda, she was going into her first season in college . . . she did not see the court much that season, and her marks were not as high as she wanted them to be. Yet she kept working super hard and apply the Mental Toughness principles we spoke about every week without fail. This season she went in for extra sessions, both for volleyball and school, she was calmer, she performed when it counted, and she became the go-to hitter on her team in clutch situations. She developed into a mentally tough athlete who could be counted on by her teammates. Amanda did not ever give up and it was her persistence, coachability, and work ethic that moved her ahead.
Just yesterday I received an excited text from Amanda:
“Just wanted to let you know that I got voted most improved player by my teammates and coaches. Guess all my hard work and extra help was noticeable.”
This from an athlete who rode the pine her first season, but slugged it out with visions of what it could be like to become a starting, go-to player.
Amanda now knows that if she puts in the work, and takes the coaching, she can achieve anything (and by the way she is now crushing it academically too!).
So many of our limits are in fact imposed by our thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions – what I call our MindFrame. This MindFrame has the potential to limit what we do and achieve in our lives, both on and off the ‘field’. However, when trained, our MindFrame can actually have us achieve things others would deem impossible.
For 1.5 years, Amanda and I have worked on her MindFrame, on creating new default mind patterns so that her true potential could be tapped. Our most effective strategy together was having Amanda keep focused on what she wanted, not what was happening (e.g., focusing on starting, not on that she was not seeing the court) and then taking actions consistent with her vision. The more she took actions that were in line with her vision, the more she re-trained her MindFrame on how to approach her sport and her life.
It would have been easy for Amanda to resign to being on the bench. But instead, we kept looking forward to what Amanda wanted and literally painting the picture of how we wanted it to go. Then, acting as if it was obviously going to happen, Amanda would take actions in line with that goal, with that painting. As an example, here’s some of what Amanda did:
- She did individual sessions every week,
- She visualized,
- She watched video,
- She focused in on things that helped her and got rid of the ‘extras’.
And in the end, Amanda achieved the success that before she could only imagine in her dreams.
I share Amanda’s story:
- As a lesson of the power of perseverance, positive self-talk, taking effective action, and always looking for and applying the coaching.
- So that you can be inspired to achieve your dreams even if it looks impossible.
- And, so you can take away from it what will support you in achieving your goals.
Great work Amanda – you did it. I’m very proud of you :D.