This past weekend Kira Lewis won the biggest contest of her young career thus far taking home 1st place at Worlds in Mexico! Kira has worked tremendously hard this year on her mental game and has been put to the test countless times. Winning the biggest event of the year in Wakeboarding was a result of consistent sacrifice in her training and in her dedication to becoming the best.
Congratulations to SPMI athlete Kira Lewis. Kira has worked very hard on her mental game this year and recently placed 2nd in US Nationals in Wakeboarding held in Monroe, Washington. Kira is now on her way to Japan where she will compete in Worlds. Like most SPMI athletes, Kira trains her mental game through 1-on-1 Online Mental Training.
I rarely write about SPMI athletes and their success stories but I believe it is time the world starts hearing about them. SPMI has had a very positive impact in over 1000 lives in over 50 sports. The mission of SPMI is to reach millions of athletes from all over the world and help each one of them achieve their dreams by providing them with invaluable skills and discoveries that will elevate their well-being both in sports and in life.
One of the biggest performance killers in sports is panic. Often, when athletes panic they get trapped in their mind at the worst possible moment where their biggest fears come to life. Fears such as choking during competition or replaying in their minds images of their coaches or parents upset and disappointed. These mental images seem to get stuck in time and increase pressure as it gets closer to game time. This mental error is often referred to as catastrophizing.
On the surface, mental toughness is a skill that most athletes acknowledge but underneath the surface, few athletes notice its presences until it's too late. I've heard countless coaches and parents point out to their players how much better they are compared to their competition. For example, parents have said things such as "you're way stronger than her" or "your game is way better than his". The truth is that in many cases these coaches and parents are incorrect as they are only noticing what is visible to the naked eye.
Athletes are often warned that having too much confidence will hurt their performance. Recently one of my athletes said, "I'm worried that if I’m too confident it could come back to hurt me in a future game".
I'd like to introduce to everyone The Thinking Mind. It likes to show up on big occasions and crash the party. Perhaps, you have recognized its presence before a big game, during crucial moments of competition, or right after sudden unexpected changes in your environment. In life, the thinking mind may present itself in decisive moments such as right before a big test, losing a job, or engagement proposal. In war, the thinking mind presents itself more and more before soldiers are sent into war.
A Common Term used to describe an athlete's constant negative thinking is an acronym called ANTS. ANTS stand for Automatic Negative Thoughts. In science we know that athletes who are very low in confidence often experience ANTS on a regular basis.
Empathy is defined as the ability to focus on what other people are thinking and understand how other people see things. This critical skill in sports has tremendous benefits to not only athletes but also to parents and coaches. Research shows that when individuals are able to show sincere empathy to others in pain or emotional stress, it produces a powerful calming effect. This effect depends on the level of empathy that an individual can demonstrate to the distressed individual.