The Game within the Game slideshow
I thought I would post one of my PowerPoint presentations on the game within the game. It is how I often introduce sport psychology and mental training to parent groups. It is performance oriented and takes a more research or academic based approach to mental training. Come view the slide show and see many of the topics covered in mental training and how it can be a benefit to athlete who decide to travel this road. Mental training is an important aspect of the athletic experience.
Some Simple Mind Control Tips – Guest Post by Mindvalley
This is another guest post from Mindvalley. In my world of sports psychology I would be inclined to call this mental training, but when it comes down to it, learning to control your own mind is what it is all about. Please enjoy.
Emotional Intelligence in Sports
Mind control is important for reaching our ultimate potential. Here are some simple tips for achieving higher mental levels:
1. Meditation: Meditating daily is good for us in so many ways. It makes us happier, healthy, less stressed, more positive, and better able to concentrate. When it comes to increasing our mind-power, meditation helps us learn to still and discipline the brain, bringing it instantly under our complete control. The idea is meditate often enough that we actually strengthen our grip over our states of mind. Experienced, dedicated mediator’s have no trouble coming in and out of different trance states and mental levels.
2. Hypnosis: Many people don’t know the difference between meditation and hypnosis. In fact, they are very similar. The goals of each are slightly different, but the end result is ultimately the same. In meditation, we work to bring our mental states under control; in hypnosis, the goal is to reach a relaxed-aware state that is highly suggestible. When our minds our open to such suggestion, it becomes much easier for us to go into deeper and deeper levels of awareness. This is just another way to use our own brains for our benefit.
3. Sound: Music and binaural beats are audible techniques which target our minds sympathetic response to outside stimuli. Listening to certain music or sounds which produce a specific frequency, causes the energy output in our minds to match that frequency. This mimicry means we immediately go into a trance or reach a heightened mental level. It is one of the quickest ways to get a fast taste of a heightened state.
4. Special meditations: special meditations include visualizations, relaxations, projections, and lucid dreaming exercises. Anything that produces a specific emotion or vision in the brain. When we see something in our mind, there is little difference in the response created in our brain between “seeing” and actually doing. This means that targeted mental exercises that make us feel positive, upbeat, intelligent or powerful, actually make us all of those things, when repeated often enough.
5. Art and creativity: Art is also a form of meditation. Drawing something we see in front of us uses a large amount of our minds, strengthening our abilities to reason and concentrate. Working with color, planning and detailing requires a huge amount of focus, and, when used correctly, in the right environment, can produce a very beneficial trance state, as well as some much-needed mental and emotional therapy. There are many forms of craft, art, and creativity. Everyone should tap into at least one.
These five tips should be combined for increased mental benefit. Our minds are our only tools for achieving full self-actualization, and, if we don’t use them in an appropriate way, we can quickly throw away opportunities to become more awake, aware, intelligent, compassionate and successful. We literally have the ability to do and be anything we can imagine and dream. The problem, then. Is expanding our imaginations to reach greater and greater heights.
When we are finally able to switch, at will, between the mental states of beta, alpha, theta and delta, we will have overcome our usual mental and emotional limitations. Our minds will be positive, focused and controlled. We can do whatever we want, and we can ask the Universe to provide us with more of the things that makes us happy and healthy, because we will train our minds to focus on the good. Without the mental ability to follow our dreams, how can the Universe make them come true for us?
This is one reason it is so important to use simple mind control techniques every day. Even though our brains have limitless potential, they are usually left to run wild, and run the show. We have to take over, bring them under our own control and force them to be still and powerful as they can be. This means we have to fight the natural tendencies we have to become preoccupied with the mundane, and turn our attention, always, to self-improvement and achieving our goals. This doesn’t mean we don’t have fun; on the contrary, it means we produce happiness and light everywhere we go!
We are always focused on the good, believing in ourselves, and sending love and light out into the world. We do this by paying attention to our thoughts and guarding our minds against negativity and trivial distractions. This is how we become healthy, happy, successful, fully realized, wonderful human beings!
Interested to learn more about mind control? Check out these articles on easy techniques to always think positively and ways to get more positive energy
How to Control Your Emotions by the Mindvalley Team
I have looked to add some guest posts to this blog. This post has been written by the Mindvalley Team. Mindvalley is one of the world’s fastest growing online publishing companies. Through a unique blend of conscious marketing, technology and a fun and quirky work culture, the Mindvalley team spreads enlightened ideas across the internet and beyond. This one is about how to control your emotions.
Please read and enjoy. This follows closely with many of the concepts I have posted on Emotional Intelligence.
Control Your Emotions
Controlling our emotions is essential to keeping ourselves calm and detached enough to make good decisions and do what we want or need to do. When we are constantly overrun by our emotional states, we lose our ability to think and act in an appropriate manner. Many people mistake their emotions for the reality of a situation, but emotions are really just intuitive cues that help us navigate our true needs and desires. A strong emotion indicates something we have either a strong desire for, or an aversion to. By reading these emotions we can better understand ourselves, but if we become our emotions, we miss out on a valuable opportunity to learn from our experiences.
Some emotions seem too powerful and overwhelming to control, but the fact is we are always in control. When an emotion arises or surprises us, we decide in that moment whether to run with it and talk to ourselves about it, or whether to bring into it and let it go. Emotions may arise in a reaction to something else, but they are fed with our thoughts. This means the moment we feel an emotion running away with us, we can stop, take a deep breath and stop our thoughts. When the mind stops, all that is left is the feeling, and it will run through us and then be gone.
We can also change our thoughts if we feel overwhelmed by an emotion or situation and can’t seem to let it go. A simple thought we can use is one of acceptance of ourselves, the others involved and the situation itself. This is simply done by saying something like, “I don’t like this, but I accept that it is this way, and I am ready to let go of my anger and fix it.” This is a statement that both let’s go of what is happening, and empowers us toward the solution. It is the perfect balance of accepting and owning what is happening.
We can also use simple breathing techniques to take us out of an emotion or out of thoughts that cause unhappy or unhealthy emotions. Counting the breath is one simple way to direct our attention toward something else. We can bring our focus to our breath and let the emotion do what it will. When we stay with our breathing, we no longer feed the anger, sadness, or fear that is overwhelming us. It can then pass through us as we feel it fully and let it go.
For times when we are incredibly upset, anxious, or physically, emotionally, and mentally worked up, we can use long, slow, deep breathing. Instead of counting the breath, we draw our attention to it and actively work to lengthen and deepen it. This means we close our eyes and slowly, deeply, consciously breath until we are calm again. Then we attempt to view or approach what is happening from a new angle. In this way we stay completely in control of our feelings and reactions.
The more we get ahold of how we are feeling and keep them from overrunning them, the easier this becomes. When our emotions are used to ruling the day and ruling us, they tend to take over in most situations. This is a problem, because emotions are not really meant to be the governing force of our lives, they are only meant to increase our experiences and to give us valuable clues in our decision making. Emotions are fickle, temporary, and often merely an initial reflex of our egos. While we can never discount emotion entirely, it is necessary to balance it with our reason, intuition, and higher minds.
Ego is a very reactionary, fearful, emotional part of our selves. Often, it uses emotions to take over and turn us inward and make us selfish or self-centered. If we let this happen, we will find ourselves constantly being worked into a state of unrest. This is our ego clinging to a self and holding onto to discontentment in order to keep us from being happy and getting what we want. It is a way we become limited, and give up our personal power. When we control our emotions, however, we make room for our truer, more powerful, positive selves to shine through.
Learn more stress relief techniques and easy techniques of relaxation
Is Mental Training Right for You and your Team? Ask Questions-
I was talking with a potential client’s mother today. She wanted to see if I was the right fit for helping her kid. We discussed all of my services, but it came down to some basic questions. One was that the concern he would think there was something wrong with because of the term “Psychology” and the other was how does sport psychology and mental training fit their needs. The second part was easy, and it has been the nature and intent of the posts I have been making. The first question gets more to the roots that 99% of Sports Psychology and Mental training is for healthy athletes that want to increase or accelerate their performance. Yes, we deal with things like fear, self confidence and anxiety, but it is with the intent to increase performance.
So as you read through the rest of this post, I would like you to answer two questions for yourself and me. Please feel free to leave comments so we can have a conversation.
1) Is mental training right for you and/ or your team?
2) What makes someone wake up and say to themselves “I think I’ll look for a sports psychologist / mental trainer today? (I ask this in part because in talking with sport psychologists in Canada and the UK, mental training is far more accepted than it is in the US and I have been working with athletes for three decades and am still answering these questions today. So maybe it is that I am missing something and would love to hear from you.)
The Big Why
Baseball great Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, “90% of all sport is mental and the other 50% physical. Why do we spend almost 100% of our time training only our bodies? This is the big question you need to ask yourself as an athlete. What are you doing to train your mind for athletic success? Are you dealing with competitive stress productively? Sport Psychology and Mental Game Training will help you reach the next level of peak performance. You need to explore and see if there are areas of your mental training that would benefit by learning the game within the game. Most programs are relatively short, but the results will last a lifetime.
Take this short quiz.
1) Are you a confident athlete?
2) Do you understand how best to use imagery to help you to peak performance and to accelerate learning of new skills?
3) Do you deal with your fears?
4) Do you know how to relax? Can you turn the switch on when you need to?
5) Do you lose focus during competition?
6) Does the word choke hit close to home?
7) Do you use an effective pre- and post competition routine? How about for practice?
If you found that there are questions that you answered to with a NO, then let’s turn them into a YES. Gain the skills to effectively get results and take your game to the next level. Come join us and play the Game within the Game.
The greatest waste in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become.
Most people have so much more potential than where they are right now!
Success or Failure is dependent on one thing- YOU
Are you the player you want to become? Come discover” The Athlete within You” and find out what is sport psychology; and why you should learn about the game within the game!
Last time I wrote about the overall contribution that Sport Psychology and Mental Skills Training can have on Jr. “A” Level Hockey Players. These are posts written specifically for JrHockey.com
. It encompasses just a few of the things we are doing with the Cheyenne Stampede Hockey Club
. This is Part II.
I talked about four important skill sets. Relaxation: Imagination/Visualization: Self-confidence: Concentration. Of course these are not the only skills an athlete needs to work on, but it was a good place to get started as they have great impact and the terminology is easy to understand. I don’t like to throw academic technical jargon around, so starting with two of the basics, I will take you through how an athlete can better understand themselves and use these important skills.
Relaxation: Here is a skill that, when lacking, frequently interferes with play. When a player is not relaxed, they lose the feel for what they are doing. It is difficult to yell at a player and get them to relax. It just doesn’t work. Instead, players can be functionally taught how to relax. Then, a simple reminder can help them shift their focus and use their training to calm down. When they are relaxed, they will have much more success with their touch, bringing the Game within the Game full circle. By being relaxed, they are able to focus on their touch and, of course, their self-confidence grows. One of the most important aspects regarding athletic performance is that of self awareness. Relaxation training is how I address this from the start of the journey with an athlete. An athlete discovers that they can recognized the differences in muscle tension, then mental tension, this progresses towards a better self awareness of everything to do with their sport. They begin to understand their thoughts better and can rationally understand the direction they are headed. Athletes are less affected then by negativity because of this increased level of self awareness. It begins with a simple clinching of a fist.
Have you ever wondered how an athlete can control their bodies so well? Have you thought that they can do incredible things and still look like they are relaxed even under high pressure situations? The truth is that many athletes have a phenomenal capacity to remain relaxed and control their bodies during competition. For many it is just something they learned along the way.
Some athletes have learned this process through things like yoga or meditation, but for most of them it has really been part of the process. Yet many still search for other ways to learn how to control their minds and bodies during practice and competition.
For many the secrets of relaxation have eluded them. Others have found it by accident. What most have discovered was that this process could be learned and rather simply. It can’t be that easy, I’ve heard again and again. The truth is that it is easy. It takes a little practice, but anything worth doing takes a little work.
The answer to the relaxation response athletes have been learning for 70 years is called progressive relaxation. Athletes learning this skill can better understand their bodies and also relax within minutes into a deep state of relaxation. They can notice tension in their body immediately and get rid of it. It gives them control. The point is that relaxation training is for all of us. It leads to great self awareness and this is primary to success in sports. I’ve been making tapes/cds/mp3s for athletes for over three decades to make the learning process faster and easier. (more…)