Winning The Mental Game At The U.S. Open
Handle These Seven Peak Performance Myths
Your Performance -- In Sports, Business and Life
Bill Cole, MS, MA
I know we all watch the U.S. Open with great excitement.
We wonder how these top tennis stars can hold up to the pressure
week in and week out, and more so, how do they maintain mental
toughness in the Grand Slams? I hope to provide you with some
tips about how they live up to their reputations as peak performers,
and how you can use these mental strategies to help your own
In September 2001 I was coaching at the U.S. Open as the Sport
Psychology Advisor to the Israeli Davis Cup Team, and I want
to share some insights I learned being around the world's
best tennis players. The top player on our team was Harel
Levy. When I went to Wimbledon with him in June, he entered
that event with a world ranking of #30 and had the week before
defeated Andy Roddick at Nottingham to get to the finals,
only to lose to Johannsen in a tough match.
Top performers are so fine-tuned in their disciplines that
they have seen all the traps, pitfalls and blind alleys about
performing, and have devised methods to overcome them to be
able to sustain high levels of performance under most adverse
conditions. To improve your performance abilities, you need
to recognize, understand, and be able to avoid these myths
Why are these myths dangerous? If you don't handle them, they
will creep into your performances and sabotage you. And you
may not even know that's happening.
I've been helping people reach more of their potential for
the past 30 years as a mental game peak performance coach.
Here I teach you the very same mental success approaches I
use with these top collegiate and professional athletes. The
secret lies in having powerful, tested mental game peak performance
strategies at your disposal. What your mind believes you will
Learn to avoid these seven peak performance myths and you
will immediately see your performances soar.
1. MYTH -- An All-Out Performance And Total Effort Is Required.
Some people think if 100% effort is good, then a 110% or a
150% effort must be far better. Peak performers know that
there is an optimal level of effort for every activity in
a given performance.
Mental Tip -- Through practice, find your optimal levels
of effort and avoid trying too hard. Be efficient by targeting
just the perfect level of effort and motivation in your performances.
2. MYTH -- You Can Make A Top Performance Happen On Command.
In watching a top athlete or musician perform, does it look
like they can force a good performance to occur, even if they
are having an off day? Sometimes a bad day can be saved by
extra focus, preparation or mental strategies, but rarely
does forcing a performance work.
Mental Tip -- Allow your best performances to emerge
from superior preparation, from focusing rituals built into
your performances and from trusting yourself to do what you
know how to do.
3. MYTH -- Only Many Years Of Training Will Lead To Peak
Performances. Anyone can achieve a peak performance following
the laws of performance psychology. But the more experience
you have, the easier it is to bring forth your best efforts.
Mental Tip -- Have faith in yourself, while still preparing
solidly, and you will be able to muster your best under pressure.
4. MYTH -- A Peak Performance Is Just A State Of Hypnosis.
You enter a specific, non-ordinary mental state when you are
performing. Call it self-hypnosis if you want, but there is
nothing mysterious about it.
Mental Tip -- Get into the zone for your best performances.
You are in the zone when you have a calm mental state, pure
focus, relaxation, your mind is in the here and now and you
are allowing your performance to happen.
5. MYTH -- Peak Performances Can Only Be Achieved By People
With Special Mental Powers. Anyone can turn in a peak
performance, and anyone can develop the mental powers needed
to do so consistently. You can learn what you need to know
to perform your best.
Mental Tip -- Study top performers in your field and
see what makes them tick. Ask them what it was they did to
develop those powers.
6. MYTH -- A Peak Performance In Sport Is Different Than
One In Business. Once you achieve a peak performance in
anything, you have experienced the zone. The zone is a state
of mind and body that envelopes you when you perform to your
potential. You can use your zone skills in any performance
Mental Tip -- Learn from every discipline you can,
to transfer those performance skills across all performance
7. MYTH -- Once In The Zone, You Can Sustain A Peak Performance
By Sheer Will Power. It seems like good performing is
all about having strong will power, but it's not. That can
be part of it, when you have solid mental discipline, but
that's not all of it.
Mental Tip -- Use your will power for self-discipline
in your training and for controlling your mind in a performance.
Then learn to simultaneously let go once in the performance
so you can attract the powers of the zone, and allow them
to take over.
What is the US Open in your life? What are the Grand Slam
events you face every day? You can now face these performance
myths head on and reach more of your potential.
You can do this in your business, your sport or your life.
Dash those nasty myths and forge ahead to greatness!
Copyright © Bill Cole, MS., MA. 2001, 2007 All rights
This article covers only one small part of the mental game.
A complete mental training program includes motivation and
goal-setting, pre-event mental preparation, post-event review
and analysis, mental strengthening, self-regulation training,
breath control training, motor skill training, mental rehearsal,
concentration training, pressure-proofing, communication training,
confidence-building, breaking through mental barriers, slump
prevention, mental toughness training, flow training, relaxation
training, momentum training, psych-out proofing and media
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you
need an assessment instrument that identifies your complete
mental strengths and weaknesses. For a free, easy-to-take
65-item sport psychology assessment tool you can score right
on the spot, visit https://www.mentalgamecoach.com/Assessments/MentalGameOfSports.html.
This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a
guide in creating your own mental training program, or as
the basis for a program you undertake with Bill Cole, MS,
MA to improve your mental game. This assessment would be an
excellent first step to help you get the big picture about
your mental game.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published
book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive
article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
Article Source: https://www.MentalGameCoaching.com
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