“CALM, SMART AND DETERMINED”
Do you have any key words that help you do a good job on your skills or that help you overcome your fears that you might have?
Here are the three 3 key words that I remind my athletes of when they face a challenge: calm, smart and determined.
Being calm is the most important. As athletes if we are calm, not only do we have the best control over our body, we start a chain reaction that allows us to then be smart and determined.
How are we going to be calm? I find that deep breathes help me calm down the most. I count 4 real seconds when I breath in then I pause and count to 4 again when I breath out followed by another pause before starting over. I close my eyes and notice the feeling of the air filling up my body and then leaving it. I listen to the relaxing sound that it makes like gentle waves that wash over the shore and then pull back into the ocean in a sliding hush over the sand.
Our next task is to be smart. We’re smart when we think of one or two things to concentrate on when we try our skill; our brains do well thinking of one or two things but struggle when we try to think of three or more. The things that we think of can be parts of the technique that coaches have taught us or corrections that they have given us or one of our teammates working on the same skill who may be having similar difficulties. These things could also be pieces of knowledge that we have gained from our experience as an athlete, watching others or even advice we’ve received from your teammates. We must imagine exactly what we would see, feel or even hear when we do these specific things and notice how these things help us to do the skill successfully. Trust that if you do these smart things that the skill it will work.
Now that we are calm and we are thinking of smart things, it is time to be determined: determined to do those smart things. We will show determination by doing your BEST: being commanding of our bodies. We will use all the speed, power, strength, patience, calm, rhythm, smoothness, tightness, energy and effort that we possess, whatever the skill requires, to accomplish the skill the way that we understand we are supposed to do it.
Most importantly we show the greatest determination by believing in ourselves even when we make a mistake: trying again and never giving up. We know that our coaches will teach us something about the skill. We know that we might notice something helpful when we are doing our skill or when we try to think back about what we just did. With our ever growing knowledge we can again be calm, be even smarter and even more determined until we achieve our goal.