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Showing posts from November, 2017

Defense Mechanisms

Competition can be stressful. With all the pressure, you will surely feel nervous. Your opponent may be very challenging. Trying to win may make you mentally and physically tired. Your mistakes may be frustrating you. Together, all of this can put a lot of stress on you and your ego. It is uncomfortable. You may want to release the stress and return to your comfort zone. Many athletes do this by using defense mechanisms unconsciously. Here are some examples of defense mechanisms. Most of them consist of excuse making, giving up, and choosing lower goals over higher goals. All of this causes you to play worse.

Situation thoughts/emotions Defense mechanism result Losing to an underdog This is embarrassing. This makes me look so bad. Tanks, gives up, doesn’t try anymore. This gives you an excuse for losing. You lost only because you weren’t trying. This protects your ego and makes you feel better. Since you gave up and became less motivated, you will play worse and most likely lose. Losing I’m play…

Team Cohesion

One goal of any leader is to increase team cohesion. Team cohesion “is the degree to which individual members want to contribute to the group's ability to continue as a functioning work unit. Members of cohesive teams have emotional and social bonds that link them to one another and to the group as a whole” (boundless.com). The best teams have a high level of team cohesion. Such teams have members that like each other, get along, and all “buy into” the team’s goals. However, high team cohesion can be unproductive if all the team members support each other's lazy work ethic and mediocre goals.

One of the reasons why high team cohesion can be beneficial is because it can create a “brotherhood” or “sisterhood” of members that sincerely care for each other and love each other. This can create “combat motivation,” which is one of the strongest motivators. Combat motivation is a military term that refers to doing something not for yourself, but for your loved ones, or your “brothers.…

Leadership

Leadership is the ability to lead, guide, or motivate a group to reach a shared goal. Urban Meyer defines leadership as setting high standards for people, and giving them the tools to reach them. There are many leadership styles. None is perfect for every situation, leader, or follower. Leadership largely consists of two types of behavior: relationship oriented, or task oriented behavior. Leaders are either attempting to make their followers satisfied and empowering them to perform better (relationship oriented behavior) or they are organizing, directing, and demanding tasks to be performed (task oriented behavior). Relationship oriented leaders are often described as “players coaches” while task-oriented leaders are more similar to a military drill sergeant. Both types of leaders can be effective in different situations, but for like most things, balancing both orientations is most effective.
Arguably, at it’s best, leadership is selfless. The best leaders sacrifice their selfish desi…

Emotions and Performance

Competition can make you emotional. You may get happy when you are winning and you may get mad/sad when you are losing. Proper emotional management leads to peak performance. You need to know how certain emotions affect your performance and how you can better manage your emotions.

Getting sad or angry after every mistake is not a recipe for success. Often, these negative emotions are just defense mechanisms that protect your ego when losing. Occasionally, getting mad can help to motivate yourself, but most of the time, it reduces confidence, motivation, relaxation, and clouds thinking and judgement. Negative emotions can sometimes create a downwards spiral: make mistake, get mad, play worse, make mistake, get more mad, play even worse.
On the other hand, positive emotions such as happiness can help performance by increasing confidence, motivation, and relaxation. However, having positive emotions after every good play can be harmful. If you are too happy, you may get complacent. It can …