Focusing on Others

One area that often comes up when working with athletes has to do with comparing their abilities to others. Recently, one of my athletes couldn't believe the improvements she had made in such a short period of time; however, she still had some self-doubts about competing in the upcoming year. She stated that, "other players have competed for more years and have a lot more experience than me."

When faced with this mental battle it's important for athletes to be reminded of how they were able to overcome and surpass other athletes who have "trained longer" or have "more experience". One area that has helped them understand is the simple reminder that they are very talented. Talent, unlike experience does not rely on time; it relies on skill and effort. Emphasizing that she is more talented and that her full potential does not depend on a set amount of time but on her consistent mental focus of her own potential helps the athlete to overcome their negative perceptions of the situation and start focusing on their own performance.

Patrick Albán B.S., M.S.
President, SPMI