MENTAL TOUGHNESS TRAINING SELF-DEFENSE MARTIAL ARTS

ATHLETIC EXCELLENCE: MENTAL TOUGHNESS TRAINING FOR SPORTS (1985) by James E. Loehr

I’m not playing “not to lose” anymore. I still want to perform to my best, to break that new record, to walk away victorious, but something very important has changed. My focus now is simply the MOMENT…I savour the moment. Every moment of every performance is something to be totally experienced and totally enjoyed. I simply seize the moment for what it is and, whenever I do that, I begin immediately to experience a sense of calm, strength, and energy that continues to amaze me…As long as what I am doing at that moment is precisely what I am doing at that moment, everything happens naturally. I don’t have to try to get psyched, or try to concentrate or try to perform well. I just do. And when I’m there I have energy to burn. If you try too hard you force it and there is a difference between trying harder and giving 100%. I’ve always been my own toughest opponent and I suppose I always will be.

If mental skills represent at least 50% of the process of playing, why do coaches and athletes spend only 5-10% of their time working on these skills?

MENTAL TOUGHNESS IS LEARNED, NOT BORN: Self-motivated and self-directed, positive but realistic, in control of emotions, calm & relaxed under fire, highly energetic and ready for action, determined, mentally alert and focused, doggedly self-confident, fully responsible.

When the final moment of truth finally arrives, the deciding factor will always be the same. It will be your INNER STRENGTH that makes the ultimate difference: you will always be your own Toughest Opponent, so focus on doing the best that you can. 

Focusing on winning and losing the external contest (self-defense martial arts)all too frequently leads to performance paralysis. Fears of winning and losing quickly lead to muscle tightness, excessive anxiety, and poor concentration. “Winning the contest with yourself” rarely leads to such performance problems.

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