Best Mental Training Books in 2023
Mental Health Through Will-Training
Navy SEAL Mental Toughness: A Guide To Developing An Unbeatable Mind (Special Operations Series)
The New Toughness Training for Sports: Mental Emotional Physical Conditioning from One of the World's Premier Sports Psychologists
DBTÂ® Skills Training Handouts and Worksheets, Second Edition
Mental Toughness Training for Golf: Start Strong Finish Strong
Mental Health Through Will-Training
10-Minute Toughness: The Mental Training Program for Winning Before the Game Begins
Father Brown Complete Murder Mysteries: The Innocence of Father Brown, The Wisdom of Father Brown, The Donnington Affairâ€¦
Training for Change: Transforming Systems to be Trauma-Informed, Culturally Responsive, and Neuroscientifically Focused
8 Weeks to SEALFIT: A Navy SEAL's Guide to Unconventional Training for Physical and Mental Toughness-Revised Edition
How to Deal with the Pressure of Failure in Sports
A mental training drill to help to deal with the big game.
What are you doing? Wake up and make a play. Compete out there. You can here these and many other statements made every day at any athletic event where there are coaches or parents around. I heard them from moms as well as dads and grandparents. What are they yelling about? That poor kid trying to make a play on a field somewhere in America. We will never shut these people up but we can provide our kids some tools to help them cope with this pressure and the real pressure of performing out on the field.
The first thing to teach the kid is he is not a failure for making mistakes on the field. We all do and will make plenty each day we enter the field of play. Ask the kid if he intentionally tried to drop that ball or strike out. They of course will answer with a no and the look of that was a stupid question. Help them to realize the problem is not a effort problem but performance problem. They are trying to do it right but made a mistake. Mistakes are ok but effort to perform is not in the world of sports. The next thing is to teach the kid how to better perform that skill in practice an have him repeat it till he is beginning to master the skill.
The practice without pressure is relatively easy to accomplish if the kid realizes that the pressure is only brought on by himself. He is in practice and there is no scoreboard or fans there to worry a bought how many mistakes he makes here. He must feel free to make mistakes without repercussions here in practice. The hard part will be for you to not become that pressure maker and stay the teacher. Once you have accomplished teaching that kid how to perform then you must bring back the pressure and teach him to relax in those type situations and play just like practice.
Several drills can be made up to institute pressure in practice such as adding a punishment for mistakes. This is not the teaching point they need but the pressure will bring about what you need to achieve your goal here. The goal is not to punish them for mistakes but to teach them about pressure and how it affects them and their play. The teaching point is what is different about regular practice than now with the added pressure. Is the ball different, moving faster, anything? The answer is no but they don't feel the same as then because of the pressure. You have now achieved your goal of giving them a opportunity to learn how to deal with pressure.
The real problem is the pressure that comes with playing sports and how to deal with it. The first teaching point is to realize that the game is no different than practice. So how can they relate practice to a game and relive pressure. The deal is how do you feel in practice as compared to the game and how could you get that feeling in a game. There are several techniques to achieve this. I like to use a check point to remember how practice felt. Find a spot on the field that every field would have to look at such as a foul pole or goal post. When you look at it you try to achieve the feeling of practice mentally. It will seem cheesy or silly to the kid at first but let them practice it and then put them in as many pressure situations as you can. You have to stop and make them go to the check point ever so often. This is not a cure all for bad play nor a reason to excuse bad play.
The ability to deal with that pressure situation in the big game now is a possibility. It will not be simple nor will it always work. The one who can do it the best should handle it the best. Can he block out his dad's voice and still hear yours? Who he chooses to hear is his choice and not yours but it is a choice. The best example I have ever seen of this skill is the movie For the love of the game. As Costner takes the mound he hears all the crowd until he says the phrase clear the mechanism. He achieves tunnel vision and hears nothing as he pitches. The one term we all have heard of in athletics is what we call the Zone. He is in the zone. He can't miss.
So is it that easy? Yes and no. Much easier said than done. There are a few more skills to help kids learn to cope with the struggles and pressure of athletic competition. The ability to forgive and forget and to mind role play are a few. There are also many good websites available to help with the mental aspects of sports. They are relatively new as main line sports are just beginning to embarks the mental side of sports.