You train your body, eat healthy and strive to improve your sports skills and game strategy, but how often do you work on your mental fitness? Sports psychology strategies can have a tremendous impact on your experience on (and off) the playing field, but very few athletes have a clear plan to develop this aspect of themselves.
In the world of sports psychology there is often a focus on positive thinking, visualization and other mental gymnastics, but in the book, Stillpower, author Garret Kramer argues that positive thinking is never the answer. Instead, he tells us that it's more important that an athlete understand the arbitrary nature of thoughts, and by understanding that our thoughts set the tone for both our mood and our perceptions, we become more empowered. It's this simple knowledge that allows us to stop believing that any outside factors are responsible for our performance. He sums it up this way:
"Since a person's thoughts, not circumstances, are what create his reality, the cure to a wayward performance will never be found in the world around the individual. The cure is found in the fact that when struggles occur, left alone the human mind will self-correct toward clarity, resilience, and determination, with no effort at all."
Read more about Stillpower in Garret's guest post: How Your Thoughts Influence Performance -- On or Off the Playing Field