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Showing posts from August, 2018

How Being the Favorite/Underdog Affects your Mindset and Performance

Last week I talked about how the score can affect your mindset and performance. Today I want to talk about how being a favorite or an underdog affects your mindset and performance.

A favorite is the athlete or the team that is expected to win against a certain opponent. An underdog is the athlete or the team that is expected to lose against a certain opponent. You can be anywhere on the spectrum. You can be heavy favorites, slight favorites, slight underdogs, or heavy underdogs. Two teams can be evenly matched with no clear indication who is the favorite and who is the underdog.

Being a favorite and being an underdog can affect an athlete's mindset and performance in many ways. Here are many examples:

Being a favorite can give you confidence. If everyone thinks that you can/should win, this will help you believe you can win. This confidence can be great for motivation. This improves performance.

Being a favorite can cause complacency. If everyone thinks you should win easily, you may …

How the Score Affects your Mindset and Performance

The score, meaning whether you are winning, losing or tied, can affect an athlete’s mindset, and therefore performance, in many ways. When a game begins, the score is tied at zero. Keeping all things equal, both teams generally try their best during the first few minutes of the game. Then once the score begins to fluctuate, the mindset and performance of the teams also fluctuates. There are many ways in which this can happen. Here are many examples: If both teams are tied during the first few minutes of a game, neither team really has a reason to be happy or sad. The score is neutral so they remain emotionally neutral and they continue to try to play their best.If one team gains a slight lead, this can motivate them. It is positive reinforcement for the things they have been doing. However they are playing, they are motivated to keep playing this way, because it is working.However, if their lead gets too large, they can become complacent and begin to step off the gas.If one team is los…

How to Deal with Cheaters

Dealing with cheaters is something all athletes must face. Not every athlete practices sportsmanship. Some athletes cheat occasionally. Some athletes cheat often. Athletes cheat because they either don't care about right and wrong, and/or they desperately want to win. It is usually a combination of these two things.

Here of some examples of athletes cheating in games (I won't get into off the field cheating):
Flopping to draw fouls.
Getting away with holding/pushing and other illegal moves.
Calling balls out in tennis.
Stealing signs

The number one rule for dealing with cheaters is to not let them get inside your head. Cheaters don't just cheat to gain a competitive advantage, but also to get inside their opponent's head. If a cheater gets inside your head and you begin to get frustrated and overly emotional, it can hurt your performance. Your main priority when dealing with cheaters is to prevent them from getting in your head and maintaining peak performance. To do this, y…

Preparing For Life After Sports by guest writer, Jessica Freeman

Have you ever wondered about former student-athletes who didn’t go pro and what are they doing? Where are they working? Are they coaching? How are they living? It’s funny because just like coaching staffs, booster clubs, and alumni at some institutions, people don’t care to know. Student-athletes struggle to find employment after the athletic program has spit them out and used them. I mean, what work experience will they have?

Most student-athletes aren’t able to complete internships and also meet the demands of being a collegiate athlete so one takes priority over the other. Don’t get me started on the NCAA and how they don’t care. On top of that, student-athletes have to change their desired major to fulfill responsibilities. Coaches and academic advisors push for majors such as communications, sports management, or liberal studies degrees. I’m not saying these majors are bad but if a student-athlete wants to major in engineering, that dream would be shot down. 

I played Division I Ba…

Bonus Strategy for Dealing with Nervousness: Don't Let the Score Get Close

Last Sunday I finished up my series on the 7 strategies for dealing with nervousness and choking. Here is another strategy that I have thought of. It is a relatively minor strategy, but in many cases, it can be very helpful. I simply call it "don't let the score get close."

Nervousness is amplified late in games when the score is close. This is when choking occurs most often. An obvious solution to this is to not let the game get close towards the end of the game. I may sound like captain obvious since no one purposely tries to make the score close, but this is actually good advice. Let me explain. There is a common pattern that leads to choking. First, a team gains a lead. Then they get complacent and distracted. This allows the other team to make a comeback. If their comeback is successful and they make the score close again, the team that was originally winning by a large margin may get nervous. Their frustration from losing their lead may cause them to try too hard an…