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  • Writer's pictureDanny Ourian

You have the Answers! But what are the Questions?

Often times we have the answers. If given the opportunity to answer questions about yourself and your sport experience, most people and most athletes will be able to do so. While some answers will be more in-depth than others, typically, when prompted we know deep down what our instincts, values, and standards are made up of.

Part of the value of working with a mental performance coach is that they can provide the right questions. Open ended questions that are meant to elicit meaning and help you recognize a different perspective are often hard to ask yourself. A mental performance coach is trained to help you take a closer - or altogether different - look at the highs and lows of your sport performance.

I recently heard a great analogy on perspective. Imagine perspective as having a ladder. When you are playing your sport, you are constantly met with obstacles and challenges. They may be your opponent, your own internal distractions, outside-of-sport personal challenges that are interfering with your ability to operate in flow. These obstacles and challenges are represented by a wall in this analogy. By having a ladder, you are able to get a clearer picture of what is on the other side of that wall. Perhaps at the 5th rung you can see more clearly what is behind you. At the 10th rung you can start to peer over the wall. Well, if you're on the 20th rung and at the top of that wall you can clearly see what is on the other side. You can see miles away. Your perspective has changed.

Sport psychology presents you with a ladder from which to look at the walls and whatever is on the other side. Perhaps in doing so you recognize a new way to look at that which is blocking you from your ultimate ability. Often times it is simply a matter of knowing how to look at your challenges differently, such that they are less impactful.

So, what type of questions might be asked of you in a mental performance training session? That depends on you! This work is best when it is individualized and catered to the specific needs of the particular individual.

Here are some samples:

1. Describe your best sport day ever?

2. How would you explain what you love about your sport?

3. How have you improved as an athlete over your years playing?

4. Describe your continued challenges in your sport?

5. How is your game "mental" in nature?

Whatever your individual, unique challenges, you are often your own best coach! We often know the answers that will unlock a new found way of seeing things. By training the brain game you are creating a performance strategy for managing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors for when they arise again. Without doing so, you are more likely to cycle back to the same maladaptive thoughts and feelings, over and over again.

Search within. A mental performance coach can help guide you.

Best of luck on your journey.


Coach Dan


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