Archive for mental training
Coming back from an injury can be an extremely stressful, but it does not have to be! Let me tell you a story of how our training can help athletes bounce back from an injury.
Watch this unique way to overcome sports injuries
Nancy was a strong and aggressive volleyball player and loved the competition of big tournaments. She started playing at age 12 and her coaches knew right away that she was something special.
One night during a game, she dove for a save and injured her ankle. As she stood up she found she could not stand on her foot. With tears streaming down her face, she was helped off the court.
Having always been tough as nails, she thought she would be back within a few weeks, but as it turned out she missed the rest of the season.
Fear and doubt with a sports injury
As the reality of her situation sunk in, her spirits took a big dive. For the first time in her life, Nancy felt fear and doubt in the back of her mind constantly.
She had put a lot of stock in her identity as a top-notch volleyball player and having it literally disappear over night was shocking. She was frustrated she could not play and worried if she would even be able to “comeback” at all.
Parents, this is perfectly normal. At a time when most kids are struggling to get to know who they really are, playing sports fulfills multiple emotional needs. It’s how they fit in, develop their own self-efficacy and form their perception of worth as a person.
After months of painful rehab, Nancy was physically ready to play, but something was still holding her back. She knew the fear wasn’t rational, because she had completely healed. She was a gifted athlete and knew what she was supposed to do tactically, like the back of her hand.
But as she explained to her coach, she now had a fear that she just couldn’t shake and, in practice, her coach noticed the difference too.
Instead of brushing it off and “putting it out of her mind”, the first thing she worked on was her focus, or, her dominant thoughts. Hundreds of doubting thoughts over a period of time, starts to “condition” your mind so you have to reverse that before doing anything else.
She had her go back to the reasons why she started playing volleyball in the first place and come up with a mantra she could repeat over and over that corrected her focus.
The next step was to release all those stored up difficult emotions resulting from her injury and the setback to her career. Telling herself simply to just “let it go” would not cut it!
The work has to be done at a cellular level, where the emotions literally get stuck. This is why we use guided visualizations in our training and it worked wonders for her. She told me how light and free she felt afterwards.
She gradually began to “trust” her knee and body again and went on to a stellar season.
A year later, realizing her dream of playing college ball, she told me that the lessons she had learned from using her mind to come back in volleyball, helped her in bouncing back from a lost relationship.
Sports injuries and life
ALL athletes experience major difficulty, fears, doubts and setbacks in their sport. How they come through it all, OR NOT has far-reaching, lifelong effects on all aspects of their life.
Doubt, worry and fear don’t stay locked in the sports arena, they creep into all areas of our lives.
It is crucial to address these fears and setbacks as soon as possible, so they do not become lifelong issues that hold your athletes back in other areas of their life.
Craig Sigl is the creator of 6 mental game training programs for athletes sold in 28 countries. His newsletters go to over 18,000 athletes, parents and coaches worldwide.
He has been featured on NBC TV’s “Evening Magazine” show, numerous radio shows and the Seattle P.I. newspaper for his work with youth athletes.
For more great tips and to receive free “The 10 Commandments For A Great Sports Parent” ebook and Free training for youth athletes to learn how to “Perform Under Pressure”…
Go to http://www.mentaltoughnesstrainer.com/