Here are 3 hacks for a champion mindset.
Today I’m talking to those of you who are gearing up for your state meets in gymnastics. Worlds is also coming up for figure skating and there are a lot of end-of-season big competitions happening right now. I wanted to give you three quick suggestions on how to unlock your inner champion mindset so you can go out and kill it in competition.
Champion Mindset Hack #1: Know That You Are Ready
Number one is to know that you are ready. It’s one thing to put in the time and go to practice and do the skills and hit the routines and land those jumps and hit those programs and do it over and over and over.
It’s another to believe that you’re truly ready.
So one really quick way that you can boost your confidence going into your big competition is to write down a list of reasons why you’re prepared and capable of success.
You can grab a piece of paper and just jot down the reasons why you’re ready. It can be things such as: I’ve done 1 million practice runs or I did great last week when I had to compete under pressure.
So write down at least 10 reasons why you’re prepared.
Then if you get to your competition and you’re like, “Oh, I’m starting to doubt myself. Am I ready?” you can then pull that little list out of your bag and remember all the reasons why you ARE ready.
So number one is to know that you’re ready and that you’re as ready as you’re going to be.
Champion Mindset Hack #2: Know Your Obstacles
Number two is to know your obstacles.
I work with athletes who are getting ready for competition. And when I ask them to tell me what their obstacles are, they often tell me they don’t want to think about their obstacles. Instead they just want to think about going out there and how good it’s going to be.
However, you’ve got to know your obstacles. You have to know what could possibly pop up in your way and prevent you from being successful.
So I’m going to have you write another list.
I want you to write a list of three to four things that have either gotten in your way in the past or could get in your way or have gotten in the way of other success in competition.
Write down those big three or four obstacles.
Now imagine you’re sort of plotting along and you’re going for your goal. And maybe your goal is to qualify for regionals or nationals. Maybe your goal is a certain score and you have your little map and you’re cruising along. Event number one down. Great. Keep going.
But then some obstacle comes in your way.
If you’re driving in a real car and you hit a roadblock, then what do you do? Do you give up? Do you go home?
No! You get out your map and you find a different route and you go around it or you go over it or you go under it or you go a different way.
So if you set out on your journey and you don’t have your map, you don’t know which way to go. And then you hit a roadblock and you don’t know what to do. What if you’re waiting on vault for 45 minutes because something’s going on and the meet is delayed and now you’re really stressed and you feel cold and you don’t know what to do?
I want to help you avoid that situation.
So you think about what those possible things are that could pop up for you and then you come up with a solution.
Maybe it’s not getting enough sleep. Maybe it’s getting distracted because your old coach is there.
For example, Michael Phelps, the swimmer, had a whole list of things that could go wrong – his goggles could fill up with water, his suit could rip. And then what did he do? Did he go, “I hope my suit doesn’t rip. And I hope my goggles don’t fill up.” No, he had a plan.
In fact, he actually practiced with his goggles full of water. And in the Olympics, when his goggles DID fill up with water and he was essentially blinded and couldn’t see, he already knew how to count strokes and he just kept at it and he won the gold.
So you want to know your obstacles and you want to plan for them.
Next, for each of the three to four obstacles that you write down, you’re going to write down three potential solutions.
Now you might be wondering how many solutions there are for filled up goggles? I can tell you, there are probably infinite solutions for filled up goggles. There are infinite solutions for not enough sleep. There are infinite solutions for a delay.
But we’re so conditioned as humans to think problem, problem, problem that we don’t think about the solution.
So this exercise is as much about finding a plan as it is about conditioning you to get more creative. If something pops up, you want to be able to find three solutions right away. So that then there’s nothing that can really shake you.
For example, let’s say your obstacle is if I don’t get enough sleep I won’t do very well.
Come up with three solutions.
Number one, go to bed early. So we want to prevent the obstacle. Michael Phelps, with his goggles, he might prevent the obstacle by making sure that he has doubled, triple, quadruple checked his goggles.
Then you want to sort of help the situation if it does happen. So if you’re laying there and you’re like, I am not falling asleep and I’m stressed out, you might have a go-to guided visualization on sleep that you can listen to. One that allows you to relax and cozies you into your pre-competition sleep. And Michael would know if his goggles start to get funky he’s going to start counting strokes.
And then for your third solution, I usually like to have one around recovering. So let’s say you did not get a good night’s sleep. You’re tired. You have an early session and daylight savings happened. Then you remember all those times when you had an early Saturday practice and you were tired and you did fine.
That’s when you go back to that list of successes and you remember that even though you’re tired you can still do alright. Michael knew if he lost his goggles, he just counted strokes and he’d go for it.
I want you to have three solutions for each of those obstacles so that you can go in on competition day and feel confident that you can handle anything. If you have backup plans for “if this happens” then you go in and you feel good.
Champion Mindset Hack #3: Trust Yourself
Then the last hack for having a champion mindset is just to let go and trust yourself.
This is the one that works very well. This is about letting it happen. You know that you have prepared and you know that you can get through anything because you are creative and you have a plan. And you can come up with more plans if you need them.
And this means that you’re letting go of expectations. You’re taking the focus off trying to be perfect. You’re not doing math in between events of how much am I going to have to get to get to this score. And you’re just letting it happen and you’re being present.
You’re in your body. You’re not up in your head pushing and forcing.
This is the best possible strategy that I use with my top, world champion athletes. With my Olympians and my NCAA athletes, that is the number one thing that they arrive at when they unlock their best performances. It’s self-trust.
So that is the final hack and if you learn this one in sport, you’ll be unstoppable in life.
Those were 3 hacks for a champion mindset. First, you must know that you are ready. You’ve been putting in the training and you’re ready for this. Second, you must know your obstacles and come up with solutions for how to tackle them in case they come up in competition. Finally, the last hack is to trust yourself. Instead of being up in your thoughts, you are in your body and letting your body do its thing.
Good luck to everyone competing. If you haven’t downloaded my Sport Confidence Roadmap below, make sure you download it below!