Shaun Goodsell, MA
Senior Performance Coach
As we participate and engage in life there is a constant exchange of information. We send energy into the environment and we get it back. From a competitive perspective, we attempt to impact our environment through our actions and hopefully allow ourselves to be open to feedback we are getting. However, it is also very important that we evaluate the relationship we cultivate with the information from outside of us to determine whether or not we are learning the lessons present to make the adjustments in our performance that helps us move towards improved performance.
With this in mind, I want to compare two types of responses and how they impact performance.
The first response is FIGHT. When we fight with the information from outside of us we often have an underlying expectation that things should be going different and we are entitled to a different fate or outcome. When people engage in a fight response they often become disappointed, anxious, and some become more determined to work harder and more diligent, while others disengage because they become pessimistic about their ability to dictate a different outcome. This over time creates significant discouragement and leads to a reduction in motivational energy. There are many possible examples of this but when an athlete’s performance falls short at any moment the game will give them information that they have to make sense of. When they FIGHT this information is when a series of thoughts flow and the fight response is in full function.
Another way to deal with the feedback we get from our performance is to engage in FLOW. At the core of this relationship with our environment is the ability to absorb, accept, and make emotional and physical adjustments using the moment as a learning opportunity leading to enhanced performance… using what is happening in the here and now. Expectations stay realistic and our response is focused, relaxed and very intentional. I have found that teaching athletes to learn from the information they are getting from around them truly empowers them to find advantages on their opponent as well as enhance their performance, utilizing not only their bodies but also their minds.
At the Mental Edge we are committed to helping athletes learn to FLOW with the environment around them leading to an enhanced experience as well as improved performance in sport and in life. We have launched an Audio Series that will give athletes a tool to perform in sport and in life with FLOW — staying away from fight! Our new Audio Series is called Mind Strength: an Edge on your Competition by Mastering Five Mental Toughness Skills To Become a Winner on the Field and in Life.