The True Psychology of Success in Sport

I have learned a secret…

Tennis Success

I have learned a secret about mental toughness in sport that only 3% of athletes out there have discovered.

Most athletes will never figure out this sport psychology secret (and kill their mental toughness in the process) because it is the opposite of what they have been taught.

Let me explain…

Because they have been told to be positive in sports psychology articles, most athletes decide they can CONTROL things they cannot.

If I ask a tennis player if he can control the accuracy of his serve, he’ll say Yes.

If I ask a hockey player if he can control picking up a pass, he’ll say Yes.

If I ask a volleyball player if she can control where she spikes the ball, she’ll say Yes.

But, let me ask you this:

If you could CONTROL these things, why would you ever make a mistake?

The truth is, you cannot control these outcomes. But if you believe you can control them,
you will PRESS.

Pressing is the opposite of trusting yourself.

When you press, you try to force an outcome.

You interfere with your technique instead of letting your body lead.

For example…

If you are a tennis player, you will try to guide and steer the ball, which messes up your strokes and erodes your game.

If you are a basketball player, you will try to do it all yourself and drive to the basket
even with 3 guys hanging off you.

If you are a baseball player, you will over-analyze your hitting technique, worrying
about your hands or your hips.

When you PRESS, you rob yourself of your innate ability to ability to relax, trust your body, and bring out your best.

A SECRET Sport Psychology Technique

Remember at the beginning when I told you that I was going to share a secret that only 3% of athletes and coaches will figure out?

Well, here it is:

Stop trying to CONTROL outcomes by pressing.

Pressing does NOT work.

Here’s what to do instead.

Decide that you can easily have the outcomes you if you stop pressing, and get yourself into the ”want not need” mindset.

You want and expect to win, but you do not need to win to like yourself.

Why Not Me?

Mark Tewksbury, one of the finest swimmers in the history of swimming, used the
Want, Not Need mindset to win an Olympic gold medal.

Mark says:

"The world had become more competitive. The medals, which used to be shared by 8
countries, were now finding their way to over 25 countries. Even Matt Biondi, the world record holder, were leaving the pool without going to the podium.

I thought, "Even silver would be good. I wasn not giving up, but there were no guarantees."

The first thing Mark did was refuse to PRESS about winning.

He set his sights on winning and being aggressive in the pool, but he grasped that
winning was not under his control.

Before the race, he said to himself, "Someone has to win this race. Why not me?"

"Why not me?" is a beautiful thought. It is optimistic, confident, and relaxed.

There is no PRESSING in this thought.

When you stop pressing, you relax and have fun, and let your body lead.

Get access to more sports psychology and mental toughness tips.p>

Light it up out there,
Lisa B.

© 2010
A source of sports psychology information

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One Response to “The True Psychology of Success in Sport”

  1. suseeela on May 18th, 2011 10:26 pm

    Awesome! This is a great article. I guess every athlete has to understand how enhancing their performance with out pressing on outcomes. I like the ” why not me” rule and relaxing the mind and not focusing on outcomes to let body have fun to enhance performance.

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