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Showing posts from October, 2019

Preparation and Execution

How you perform in any game depends on two factors: preparation and execution.
Preparation is anything that you do leading up to the game. For example, in football, after a game, a team has one week to prepare for their next game. Everything they do during this week is their preparation. They can prepare for their game in many ways. They can study lots of film of their opponent. They can practice everyday to sharpen their skills and instill their game plan. The players can eat healthy, take care of their bodies, and sleep well. If they work hard everyday and do all the little things right, they will be fully prepared by the time the game begins.

However, preparation means nothing if you don't execute on game day. The hard work you did during the week will be wasted if you don't work hard and execute during the game. On game day, it's time to focus on getting your mindset right for kickoff. At this point, there's not much more you can prepare for. You can't watch more…

Treat Every Game Like a Championship

The best athletes and teams try to treat every game like a championship, meaning they try to give their best effort for each and every game, which maximizes their chances of winning each game, which maximizes their chances of winning a championship.

Unconsciously, athletes want to pace themselves and save energy for future games. The best athletes however, are able to trick their minds into thinking that each game is the only game to worry about, therefore they are able to give more effort (because there's nothing to save your energy for). But even after going all out, these athletes are able to recover physically and mentally to do it all over again the next game. To successfully use this mindset, you have to trust that you're physically and mentally capable of recovering after each game and drawing the same emotion for each game without getting burnt out.

Remember, the best teams don't just coast through the regular season and wait to get to the championship game. They get…

Playing to Win vs Playing Not to Lose

Peak performance requires a "playing to win" mentality, not a "playing not to lose" mentality. In pressure situations, athletes tend to become risk averse and start playing not to lose. Instead of playing in the most efficient way by trusting their skills and being aggressive, they become very cautious and try to avoid mistakes at all costs, but this is a mistake in itself. It happens most often when a team gains a lead and just tries to run the clock out and hope their opponent doesn't catch up in time. Often, because their opponent plays to win, their opponent comes back and wins the game.

When you take the lead and are tempted to start playing not to lose, you need to remember what got you the lead in the first place. Most likely, you got the lead by playing to win, by playing aggressively up to your limits. If you want to maintain your lead, you have to continue playing the same way. But in order to do this, you have to relieve yourself of the fear of chokin…

How Not to Lose

Before you learn how to win, you must learn how not to lose.

So many games are not so much won, as they are lost. Many times, it's not that your opponent played too good, it's that you played bad and gave the game away.

Here are the most common ways in which games are lost:
Playing too aggressive and making dumb mistakes.
Playing too unfocused and making simple mistakes.
Giving up, reducing effort, and making lazy mistakes.
Letting pressure get to you and playing too cautiously or choking.
Being too selfish and not working as a team.

If you simply fix these mistakes, you will lose less games. To fix these mistakes:
Play smart and not too aggressive, so you make less dumb mistakes.
Focus better so you make less simple mistakes.
Stay motivated and maintain good effort so you make less lazy mistakes.
Handle pressure better so you stay aggressive and loose.
Be unselfish so you can play better as a team.

But remember, you can’t just focus on what not to do. Just thinking, “Don’t make mistakes! D…

Book Review: Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

By now, most people are familiar with the terms “growth mindset” and “fixed mindset.” However, many people probably haven’t read the book from which these terms originate: Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. By reading this great book, you can have a better understanding of growth and fixed mindsets, and learn how you can better develop a growth mindset for yourself.

I’ve written before about the growth mindset vs the fixed mindset. You can read it here, but I'll also offer more analysis of the book right now. 

Here are the basics of the growth and fixed mindsets:
The growth mindset is the belief that traits and skills can be improved with practice. The fixed mindset is the belief that traits and skills are fixed, determined by your genes, and cannot be improved with practice. These two different beliefs have many consequences. They affect your attitude towards success, failure, competition, challenges, obstacles, criticism, and effort. These attitudes go on to affect your work ethic, perform…