By now you know the importance of goal setting and setting high expectations. But let’s be real! Working towards goals will always include adversity and challenges along the way. This blog will teach you exactly the type of mindset you will need to push through the hardships. Unexpected roadblocks and setbacks will come. Failure will happen, not because you aren’t talented, but because when you strive for greatness you are pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. You may be experiencing adversity already.
Adversity may look like:
- Minor or major injuries
- Playing with pain
- Not playing your preferred position
- Playing less minutes
- Not getting the captain or role you feel you deserve
- Not being eligible due to poor grades
- Not playing at the level you know you can
Elite athletes have what we call PSYCHOLOGICAL FLEXIBILITY, which is the ability to:
- Move forward even when things don’t go your way
- Change up your strategy and/or adjust your goals when necessary
- Stay positive and optimistic in the face of adversity
- Trust your physical and mental preparation despite setbacks
You don’t shut down or stop caring, but rather you trust that things will work out as long as you keep at it. You continue to go out every night and every practice and COMPETE with 100% of whatever you have.
Elite athletes trust the process, even when it doesn’t reward them. They trust the work they put in! If you plan on improving your game and preparing to play at the next level – expect adversity and challenges to arise. The question is how are you going to respond? How you respond is a direct reflection of your mental toughness. You can’t always control setbacks and challenges, but you can always control how you choose to respond.
Mental skills to rely on in the face of adversity:
- Positive self-talk
You may recognize most of these mental skills from part 1 of this series. When challenges come your way your mind is going to focus on the negative and self-doubt will begin to creep in. When you practice mental skills you are essentially training your brain to be more resilient and flexible in the face of adversity. You are training your brain to reframe situations and focus on the positives. Remember, your journey is your own. It won’t look like everyone else’s.
I’ll leave you with this quote from Derrick Rose on his career in the NBA,
“I am in year 11 now. I tore my ACL in my third year. Most guys would have retired.”
D-Rose hasn’t had it easy, but he has trusted in his abilities, he continues to work hard, he is living in the present moment; he is focused on his own journey and not where others think he should be. Take the time to train your mind so you can trust the process and be mentally prepared for whatever this season has in store, the ups and the downs.
Contact Coach Brittany if you want to start your own mental training program to take your game to the next level. Training the mind takes work! Heart & Soul offers in person and phone/Skype sessions for athletes of all levels. Email us to get a free consultation today!
Founder of Heart & Soul Consulting | Mental Performance Coach | Youth Counselor | Teacher