What Is Going On In Your Head?

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Do you realize that we talk to ourselves daily, both consciously and subconsciously? In this article, we are going to explore what is in your headspace and re-modulate your thoughts towards making you into a better athlete. If your thought processes in your head are less than ideal, then it will absolutely bleed over into your performance. You need to understand that your brain goes into a fight or flight mode when you are unsure of yourself, anxious, or fearful of how you will handle challenges. Either in your sport or in your daily activities at school. Thoughts of less than ideal situations often bleed over into positive self-talk and start affecting your performance in your sport or even in your studies. There will be times when you’ll have negative thoughts over issues in life that may still linger and continue to affect your performance. All too often, we find athletes try to tell themselves mentally during their self-talk about how they are going to handle a particular negative thought, and yet still it affects their performance. This inability to get in the right headspace typically elevates anxiety and worry throughout the day. So how do you as the athlete combat this on a day to day basis? The reason why this continues to overplay in your head is that it’s the subconscious taking over. Your headspace is not working in your camp to set you up for success. Over-thinking only results in more frustration. Less thinking and more doing will get you into your desired headspace. How do you turn this into a positive Win-Win scenario for yourself where you are working on getting in the right headspace? Here’s a tip you can try today and for the next several weeks to get you in the zone sooner and to try to keep it there:

1. Keep a journal with you.

Write down in a journal or on a piece of paper the thoughts you have that seem to sabotage your performance. Thoughts that are bogging you down or giving you anxiety. It has to be written down on paper and not on a laptop or mobile device. The act of writing helps to get it out of your head.

  1. Draw a line down the center of the paper where you write these thoughts.
  2. The thoughts go on one side of the paper with a horizontal arrow towards the opposite side of the paper.
  3. On the opposite side of the paper, you will write your solution or action step to address the thought that’s affecting your performance.

For example, if you have a fear or worry about not having enough time to study for a test, write down “I am short on time to study for my history test”. Then you draw a horizontal arrow to the other side of the paper and write the solution or thought to combat that worry. An example of a solution for not having enough time to study could be “break down the history studying into 10-minute sessions that I can accomplish in between classes.” or “I can do this, I will find any downtime during school to study for this test.”

2. Keep in mind that there is always a solution.

You are in it to win it! Instead of keeping the headspace of no hope, elevated worry and/or anxiety, you can write down a logical, doable solution to the issue at hand. Writing down your worries together with solutions gets you out of the negative headspace and into the ‘In It to Win It’ space. It’s important to write it out on a sheet of paper- no phone or tablet writing to minimize unnecessary distractions. Just the act of writing will help subconsciously plant the seed of having a winning ‘can-do’ attitude. Remember the more you practice this, the better chance you have to create the champion headspace you desire.

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