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Coaching tip of the week: Be an Olympian - in Your Mind

Coaching tip of the week: Be an Olympian – in Your Mind

(By Larry Hodges)

If you think of yourself as an Olympian when you play, you’ll play better than if you think of yourself as some scrub at a club. But how can you psychologically pretend to be an Olympian, and how does that help? Great question – and here’s The Twelve Core Psychological Characteristics of Olympiansfrom Psychology Today. I was going to write about each point, but why do that when they’ve already done it so well in the article?

The key question to ask yourself is this: Do you have a better chance of playing really well if you imagine yourself as a player playing really well? Once you realize that the answer there is a decided YES, go through the twelve items below, one by one, and grade yourself on how you do on each. If you get a good grade on one, good for you! If you get a bad grade on one – you know what you have to do. Here are the twelve:

  1. The ability to cope with and control anxiety. 
  2. Confidence 
  3. Mental toughness
  4. Sport intelligence
  5. The ability to focus and block out distractions
  6. Competitiveness
  7. Having a hard-work ethic
  8. The ability to set and achieve goals
  9. Coachability
  10. Hopefulness
  11. Optimism
  12. Perfectionism

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