(This is an article from a past archery newsletter written by Mental Management instructor, Troy Bassham - the article was written for archers but the information is good no matter your sport)
The Keys to Success
In the Archery Audio "Improving the Self Image" (which is part of the set "Mastering the Mental Game of Archery") I talk about a five step plan that will improve your success. In this article, I will focus on two of those steps. First, champions focus and build on their successes. Second, it is important to stay solution oriented in your thinking.
You should find it rare that champions are complainers. Most of the time, champions talk and think about their successes. The reason why this is so important is that they are building a bigger and better Self Image by focusing on their good performances. In archery, we may not always have a good performance; but that doesn't mean we don't have some success that day. Every time we shoot, we experience short periods of great success. Focusing on these successes will help build your Self Image and therefore improve the likelihood of better performances and higher scores in the future.
Second step is that you must be solution oriented. Champions focus on solutions and do not dwell on their problems. It puts a different mind set on how you handle tough situations. Take a shooter who has a hard time finishing strong in competition. The average competitor will point out that if they finish like they started, than they would win more events. The average competitor’s focus is, "Why can't I finish strong? I never end good!" They focus on the negative and the problem not the solution to that problem.
The Champions focus is different. They make statements like, "I'm looking for a solution to finishing strong in competition!" They focus on one solution at a time and confide in one person about their situation, not everyone who will listen. This is important in building the Self Image of a champion. It is easier to win matches with the Self Image of a Winner. This way of thinking aids in the building process and generates better results in the future.
By Troy Bassham
Author of the Mastering the Mental Game of Archery Audio CD Series