Take it to the Field

by Greg Liberto

Bio: Greg Liberto is a Performance Coach at INDARE Golf, professional speaker, and creative writer for the “Thinking Game” blog.

With Take it to the Field, we seek to give our coaches the best possible guidance on exercises to utilize with their players to improve their psychological approach.

Building confidence in your athletes starts with preparation. Teaching the athlete to focus on what they can control is an ongoing process. Athletes obsessed with the strengths of their opposition (a factor out of their control), rather than their own performance (a factor within their control), will naturally be less confident heading into competition.

The SUCCESS BRIDGE

The “Success Bridge” maximizes your athletes’ potential by creating an emotional connection to the athlete they WILL BECOME.

Here is how it works.

Step 1:  Three Words that Describe What You Want to Become

Step 2:  Three Words to Describe Who You Are Today

Step 3:  5 Words to

“Bridge the Gap”

EXAMPLE

MY FUTURE SELF

ME TODAY

MY SUCCESS BRIDGE PLAN

Confident

Insecure

Use Positive Self-talk DAILY

Strong

Unsatisfied

BECOME MY BEST

Calm

Impatient

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Realizing that implementation of each plan takes DISCILPINE and STRATEGY, the next step entails one-on-one interaction to set the parameters and put the plan into action.

Practicing Discipline:  The 7 Day Challenge

To test your athletes DISCIPLINE, I utilize a simple activity called the ‘7 DAY CHALLENGE’ to see if they have what it takes.

This involves moving a small object (coin, ring, marble) one inch a day for seven days. If you think it sounds elementary, it is.  If you think it sounds silly, it is not.

LET ME REPEAT

Have them move an object one inch a day, for seven days, NO EXCEPTIONS.

WHY?

What almost EVERY PERSON lacks to achieve what they want is DISCIPLINE.

If they are not DISCIPLINED enough to complete a simple task for SEVEN days, how will they possibly be DISCIPLINED enough to commit to their Success Bridge plan?

I will tell you from experience, THEY ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT!!!

As a practitioner, this is where I start all my athletes. If they are not able to complete these two simple exercises, I will not work with them. The effort the athlete puts into this process is critical to the long term effort they put into the sport and life skills we’re interested in improving.

We all need to make an emotional connection to what we really want. These connections are what motivate us to continue when we have doubt or uncertainty. The exercise above helps the athlete create an emotional connection with their future self. If you accomplish this connection, you’ll find the athlete doesn’t want to let his future self down.

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