Do you ever wonder why you perform with excellence one day and
can't get out of your own way the next? The answer might lie in
how you prepare. To not prepare is to begin to fail, but psyching
up with purpose can light the fire of greatness inside you.
Preparation is comprised of long term preparation (training) and
short term preparation (pre-event routines and rituals). Short term
preparation includes psyching up strategies the day before, the
morning of, just before the event and during the event. These 4
phases are vital to handling performance anxiety, focusing you on
your upcoming tasks, keeping you positive-minded and in providing
energy to drive your performance.
In previous articles, you have discovered various phases of the
preparation strategies. Let's now learn about short term pre-event
mental preparation strategies. Here are some approaches I use when
coaching business people, athletes and other speakers and coaches.
1. Focus primarily on your strengths. Leave practicing your weaknesses
to your long-term training. You want to build up your confidence
just before a performance and reminding yourself of your best points
will enhance that.
2. Plan your day so as much as possible you avoid stressful situations
or conflicts that drain your energy and focus. Avoid activities
that may result in your being tired, depressed or negative.
3. Continue your usual best schedule of rest, eating, relaxing and
exercising. This will help maintain a feeling of normality, ground
you and keep you in a confident state.
4. Avoid over-training. Your long-term hard work and practice should
carry you through, but over-doing last-minute panicky practice indicates
a confidence issue. Focus on your positives.
5. Have a game plan. Know what you hope to do once in your event.
Don't leave your strategic plan to chance. Cover all your bases.
6. Primarily visualize positive outcomes for your event. Leave analyzing
what can go wrong and planning for all negative contingencies in
the weeks of training prior.
7. Spend time around people who will support your efforts and
who validate you. You want to be with people who champion your abilities,
encourage you and believe in you. This directly impacts your belief
in your own abilities.
Everyone has a story about great preparations leading to great performances.
The key is realizing that you have the control over how you prepare.
Give yourself the gift of psyching up and watch your performances
To learn about sports psychology coaching services offered by Bill
Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach™, visit www.SportsPsychologyCoaching.com.
Copyright © 2005-2008 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on sports psychology, peak performance,
mental toughness and coaching, is founder and CEO of William
B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps sports teams and individuals
achieve more success. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association, an organization dedicated to advancing
the research, development, professionalism and growth of mental game coaching
worldwide. He is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published author of books and articles,
and has coached at the highest levels of major-league pro sports and big-time
Free Article Republishing Rights
You have our advance permission to republish this article, as long as you
do not sell it. The author's name, copyright notice (Copyright © Bill Cole,
MS, MA) and web address (SportsPsychologyCoaching.com)
must appear in all reprinted articles. If the article appears on a website or
in an e-zine, the article must include a link to a page in the
Sports Psychology Coaching website. We would also appreciate your including
the author's bio and full contact information in your article, although this
is not a requirement. For additional information, see our full article
republishing permission guidelines.