Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting To Winning - Tom Paterson

It is natural to be nervous. This nervousness can work for you. Do you have to be nervous? There are never any absolute “have to’s” HOWEVER…nervousness is a sign that you are motivated, and that what you are about to do means something to you.

The more you want something – the greater the emotional and intellectual investment. So…know that IF you fall short of your goal and do not win…you may be very upset with yourself, despondent and simply feel really down. That is okay. In fact this is likely where the saying the pain and agony of defeat. All of this is natural.
If winning the championship is what you want, than know this…winning may be the most satisfying reward in competition BUT…Winning is not easy.

Winning takes commitment, and depending on just how far you want to go winning will also require sacrifice. Of course you can avoid the sacrifice part by simply not committing but then of course…you likely won’t win.

Being prepared is about stacking the odds in your favor. It is about building your success one brick at a time. In professional sports the athletes, coaches and owners frequently say…sport is all about winning. The Pro will say ‘They are in the business of winning.’ This contradicts reality. Focusing exclusively on winning without regard for the details of preparation and focus on the action of doing and living in the now – will most assuredly lead you down a path of disappointment and unfulfilled dreams.

There are no guarantees, therefore it is important to understand the difference between ‘I Will’ and ‘Having the Will’ BUT…if you commit, invest, sacrifice, focus on the details, focusing on the action of doing, and staying in the here and now…you will be putting yourself in the right place to give yourself the opportunity to win. Remember each and every time you compete you have opportunity to win, and winning tends to go to the prepared.

The most beautiful thing about commitment, investing, sacrificing, learning to focus on the detail, focusing on the action of doing, and staying in the here and now is that – you will find many rewarding things along the way. If you keep in mind that sport is ultimately about the test you will leave learning more than just how to win.

Learning Success
Sometimes all we really need is to self exam ourselves and from there we find our way. There are also things you can reflect on that help lead successful people to repeated success. What follows is exactly a list like that. Check it out. Of these strategies and habits what are you currently doing? What may you have gotten away from doing? And…what can you do? What follows is essentially a list of strategies and/or habits to get into, all of which help build a path to success.

Goal Setting –
Write it down
· Set reasonable and attainable goals that challenge you that are;
· High but achievable, specific rather than vague, measurable rather than subjective
· For every results goal identify 4 process goals (things you will do to get you to your result)

Take a measure of your commitment D.W.Y.S.Y.W.D. – 3weeks later
· Are you doing what you said you will do?
· Are you consistent sticking to your plan?
· Do you want this as much now as you did when you started?

Learn to “Keep a Healthy Perspective” by planning perspective right from the very beginning.
· You always have the power of choice - learn, focus on the upside, move on.
· When you have worked out the perspective you want to take into competition test it out by doing the mental check asking the following three questions of yourself:
o Does it make sense?
o Is it logical?
o Can I do it?

Learn to frame what you say
· Look at situations as a benefit rather than a loss. Find the competitive edge.
· Separate ‘self’ from the ‘act’ – what you do does not define who you are.
· It is not the experience BUT RATHER the meaning we give our experience that counts the most
· Praise your effort, persistence, perseverance, and determination

Rehearse your lessons learned
· Take what you have learned and rehearse them in your head and in your practices. So that your response becomes automatic
· Be glad you were there, what are all the upsides
· What you did today beats many other things, like…doing the dishes, staying late at work, dealing with a cranky kid.
· I learned so much just by being there! It was exciting, and I most definitely want to do the work to come back again.

What are the mental challenges you have put in front of yourself?
· I am not sure I can do this – I have never won this before.
· He is better than me
· I always screw up towards the end
· If I could only get that third strike

Who loves you?
· Usually your best and most consistent support comes from the people who love you. – Lean on Them
· Surround yourself with people that will be truthful and positive
· Remember you will be loved and respected no matter what
· Do it for you – more than for them
· What can you add to your game from others
· We can learn by watching and then emulating the skills, or mind set of others we admire

Journal it
· Many people only do half the job – they think it, but don’t bother to write it down.
· Writing down your reflections – gets your brain thinking in ways beyond ‘just thinking’
· Writing it down gives you an easy reference to refer back to.
· Mental notes not written down are forgotten more easily. You may recall the stand out moments but…not the little things that happened along the way to the ‘big moment’ that you.
· So you remember losing to the favorite of the tournament and how you wish you had it to do over again. What you forget is that you were doing well but when you missed your spare in the 4th frame you got down on yourself and stayed there for 3 frames.
· Confidence can be fleeting – having the opportunity to re-read and replay your successes can help build consistency with your successes

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