Hey Coaches & Athletes:
Let’s talk about thought errors and how they impact an athletic life.
What is a thought error?
Thought errors are just thoughts that create unwanted desires and actions, which in turn gives you unwanted results.
Remember, results are always caused by your thoughts and 100% in your control. This is not to dismiss the current circumstances occurring in your life, but the overall athletic experience is on you, not on the sport or life. Life presents wanted and unwanted opportunities for you. You then choose how you will experience those opportunities. Life, and sports, itself is a situation. It’s a fact that is neutral. It has no emotions attached. What creates your emotions always comes from your agency to choose what thought you want to focus on. When you focus on two neurons firing on your brain, which is a thought, then your brain and organs release hormones and neurotransmitters. Those neurotransmitters move in your body and that is what we, as humans, call feelings or emotions. Those feelings drive actions which give you results.
What kind of thoughts are thought errors?
I want you to consider some examples of thought errors, then see if you can add to the list in a notebook today. And, know that all thoughts are optional. You can choose any thought to focus on, these are just ones that keep you stuck and getting lots of unwanted results.
I have nothing without sports..
I am nothing without sports…
I need to win this game…
I have to be faster, move smoother, shoot more consistently, increase my stats, shave off time from my laps, or any other have to thought.
Life without sports would be terrible.
Losing is the worst possible outcome.
I’m only satisfied if i win.
If I quit, it would have all been a waste of time and money..
I don’t want to disappoint my coach, team, parents, fans.
The coaches are relying on me.
I should be able to….
If i don’tt get playing time, it shows the coach doesn’t believe in me or trust i’m capable.
I can’t let anyone down.
I have to get a scholarship or sports would’ve all been for nothing.
This is a big game, I can’t make a mistake this time.
Life is sports.
I shouldn’t make mistakes, I should’ve learned this one already.
I shouldn’t be making the same mistake over and over.
There is something wrong with me.
I should be progressing faster than I am.
How do you stop these thought errors?
To break out of the habit of thought errors, you can apply the following:
- Try on the opposite of that thought error. Then, see if you can find head space to believe it’s possible to believe something opposite of the thought error that is keeping you stuck.
For example, a thought error might be, ”I should be progressing faster.” The opposite could then be, “I’m progressing at just the right speed and learning what I need to at the exact right time.” Then work to find evidence in your life that that this new intentional thought statement could be true.
- Try adding the suffix, “…and that’s okay” to your thought error.
For example, “I should be progressing faster, and that’s okay.”
I love adding …and that’s okay.
- Try adding a pre-fix to your thought error:
“I am having the thought error, that I should be progressing faster.”
Then you can sit with that thought error and decide if that thought is getting you to move faster in the most efficient and best version possible for you or if it is causing you to make silly mistakes by rushing and tensing up.
Maybe that thought isn’t serving you, so you can drop it. Or, you can work towards the opposite belief, “You are moving at the right speed, this timing of learning drills and strength is perfect for you and you overall enjoyment and success in your sport.”
Try this tool on, see how it feels.
And be sure to join our onlive group of athletes who are learning to manage their minds and emotions in and out of their sport. These tools are the competitive edge you have been looking for to stand out from the other athletes in your sport.
Have a Flippin Awesome week!