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Showing posts from October, 2020

Book Review: The Brave Athlete by Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson

The Brave Athlete by Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson is a great sports psychology book. What I liked most about this book is that it balanced being scientific and coherent with being practical and fun to read. In this book, Marshall and Paterson go over twelve of the most common issues that athletes face, which are: Creating a healthy athletic identity.  Building confidence.  Improving work ethic by forming good habits.  Dealing with social comparisons.  Dealing with body image issues and eating disorders.  Coping with injuries.  Dealing with exercise dependence.  Leaving your comfort zone and overcoming fears.  Persevering through challenges and fighting the temptation to quit.  Embracing the suck and building mental toughness.  Improving concentration skills.  Performing under pressure. To begin the book, the authors teach us about a simple metaphor used as a mental model to help represent and understand the brain and human psychology. In this mental model, the brain consists of

Performance Tip: Just Do It!

There are certain plays in games where an athlete has to wait momentarily before taking action. Examples include a soccer player waiting to take a penalty kick, a tennis player waiting to serve, and a basketball player waiting to shoot a free-throw. In these situations, the longer you wait to take action, the more likely you are to overthink and choke. Conversely, the sooner you commit to taking action, the less likely you are to overthink and choke. Here is an example to explain why this is the case. When a basketball player is nervous about taking a free-throw, he usually waits longer than he normally does to shoot. This is because he doesn't believe he is ready to shoot. He may think he is too nervous and will likely miss, therefore he takes more time to settle his thoughts and emotions. Sometimes this helps, but sometimes it backfires. Instead of calming the athlete down, waiting to shoot can actually lead to the athlete overthinking and becoming more nervous. This is because t

Prepare to Succeed!

Stop bracing for failure. Prepare to succeed instead! When athletes are worried about an upcoming game, they often try to reduce their stress by bracing for failure. They may tell themselves, "I'm probably going to lose. It's okay though. I'm not supposed to win anyways. Besides, I'm not 100% healthy, so I have an excuse." This type of defense mechanism is often used during games when an athlete is losing. For example, an athlete may say to himself, "I'm playing so bad. Today isn't my day. I'll just tell my friends and family that I wasn't feeling good today." Bracing for failure may make you feel better about yourself, but it doesn't help you perform better, which is what really matters. Instead of protecting your ego by bracing for failure, wouldn't it be better for you to instead improve your performance by preparing to succeed!? When you're nervous about an upcoming game, instead of bracing for failure and procrastinat

Using Anger as Motivation

In sports, it is quite common for athletes to use anger as motivation, especially in aggressive and physical sports such as football. Anger can be a powerful emotion that can fuel people to work hard towards their goals. Athletes often feel most motivated when they're angry about something. Much of the time, athletes get angry after losing or after being disrespected/overlooked. For the athletes that hate losing, they often use their anger to work very hard to make sure they succeed more in the future. And since it is human nature to desire respect and high-status, many athletes hate the feeling of getting disrespected or overlooked by others. They take these things personal and use their anger as motivation to prove their doubters and haters wrong. With my experience helping athletes and coaches, I've learned the advantages and disadvantages of using anger as motivation. The obvious advantage of using anger as motivation is that it can be very strong. It can help you stay disc

Book Review: Relentless by Tim Grover

Tim Grover has been a big influence on me ever since I read his book, Relentless  in high school. I've learned so much about motivation, work ethic, and success from this book. I continued to draw inspiration and lessons from this book after rereading it this week. The great thing about Tim Grover is that he tells it how it is. He's not afraid to tell the truth about what it takes to succeed at the highest levels of sports. You may not agree with everything that Grover writes about in this book, but at least it will give you a new perspective to look at things. In this book, Grover breaks down people into three groups: coolers, closers, and cleaners. A cleaner works relentlessly to get the best results. A cooler is a lazy person who allows life to dictate their outcomes. And a closer is someone in the middle. Throughout the book, Tim Grover shows how cleaners distinguish themselves from everyone else. According to Grover, these are the 13 characteristics that cleaners sh