by Lisa L. Brown
Yesterday I interviewed Shannon Miller, the “winningest” female hockey coach in history.
I asked her how she builds confidence in her athletes. What is her coaching mental toughness training secret?
She said: “I get to know each player and her strengths. I focus on her strengths by being really positive with her. Then I set realistic goals for her and encourage her the whole time. One by one she achieves her goals, giving her confidence tons of momentum.”
1. Get to know yourself.
2. Focus on your strengths.
3. Set realistic goals based on them.
4. Build on your momentum.
So why do so many people struggle with their confidence?
What step do they fall down on?
This will surprise you.
It’s Step 2 – the ability to focus on your strengths.
Most people cannot focus on their strengths for any reasonable length of time.
They are inherently negative.
They’ve been trained since the age of five to think, talk, and be negative.
By the time they reach adulthood, it is a deeply ingrained habit.
Shannon actually had the opposite experience.
Her mother was a super-positive person. Shannon says: “I used to sing and play the guitar as a kid. For a long time I thought I was really good because of my Mom. Later, when I got old enough to self-evaluate, I realized I can’t sing at all,” she laughed.
Positive thinking doesn’t mean putting on your rose-colored glasses and ignoring reality.
It means focusing on where you’re REALLY good repetitively.
After interviewing Shannon I started thinking about every superstar athlete I’ve ever met.
They all have ONE characteristic in common.
They really DO think they are the cat’s meow.
Even when they make mistakes or lose, they minimize such trivial things in their mind.
Want to test my theory?
Watch a big competition like the U.S. Master’s Golf tournament or the Stanley Cup.
Listen to the interviews of the losing athletes.
They RARELY insult themselves after a loss.
In fact they’re almost always talking about how well they played, even if they choked or unraveled.
Focusing on your strengths is a really important skill in sport mental toughness training.
You need to cultivate this habit, pronto.
Here’s a quick and easy way to start.
Right now, without thinking, say out loud your top three strengths as an athlete or coach.
How did you do? Were they easy to come up with?
If not, you need to do some work on this.
And if you’d like to massively shortcut the process to coaching mental toughness, I suggest my Ebook, The Courage to Win in Sport. You will learn exactly how to re-program yourself with the sports mental game secrets jealously guarded by superstar athletes. You can even download it FREE with our seven day trial. Go here: Mental Toughness
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