Whether we want to admit it or not, we all talk to ourselves. Many people even joke that as long as they are not answering themselves, they are ok. While this may be a little bit humorous, it strikes at the heart of a needed area of improvement for an athlete to compete at the peak of their abilities.
Self-talk can take on many forms and the first step to addressing and driving our self-talk to be the talk of the Heart of the Competitor is to recognize what we are saying to ourselves. If we sit down and evaluate what we are saying to ourselves, we would be appalled. In many sessions and workshops with teams, I have given post-it notes to players and had them write down things they have said to themselves when they were struggling and they read as a laundry list of vulgar and foul language. If you were to use these words to a friend, they would quickly not be your friend, so why do we talk this way to ourselves?
Over the next week listen to your self-talk and what message you are providing to your inner being. A simple evaluation can relate to the punctuation that would be included at the end of the statements that you make to yourself. Do your statements end in a question mark or a period?
When your statements end with a question mark, you are creating a conversation in your mind, which leads to doubt in your skills and performance. As you are evaluating your self-talk and you notice these questions, make the transition to making statements in lieu of questions. Th is is a simple step in driving your self-talk to reinforce the Heart of a Competitor that you are creating to maintain this heartbeat during competition.
QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Over the last day or week, what are some statements that you have made or questions you have asked of yourself?
Every day is a competition and it is yours to win.