“I’ve been here before in my head so many times. To everybody else it’s my first Olympics, but to me it’s my thousandth.” – Mikaela Shiffrin, reigning Olympic slalom champion.
The more we learn about the human mind/body connection and its workings, the more we are able to cast aside the notion of natural talent as a key determining factor for what creates winners. That is not to say that people aren’t born with natural advantages or disadvantages in particular areas of life. Rather, it is becoming clear that human beings, by virtue of the ability to critically assess and measure our own thoughts and actions, are able to use our conscious mind to control and develop talent and acumen to elite levels, even in the apparent absence of natural skill.
Earlier this year, Dr. Jim Afremow released his book The Champion’s Mind – How Great Athletes Think, Train & Thrive, a book of useful mental skills and effective mental training tools that apply equally to those in competing in business as well as to those in sports.
“The mental demands of rigorous competition can be enormous,” says Dr. Afremow. “(Those) who diligently train their minds play their best more consistently, experience greater enjoyment, and increase their odds of victory.”
Dr. Afremow emphasizes the importance of developing mental skills to drive excellence. These skills include:
- Supreme, unwavering confidence in your abilities.
- The ability to keep a laser-like focus when surrounded by distractions.
- The capacity to sustain a high-level of motivation.
- The strength of will to conquer all anxiety, frustration and discouragement.
- The power to bring your intensity to the next level when needed.
While many people are able to recognize the need for these skills, too often this recognition doesn’t happen until right we are in the heat of the moment and could use a little something extra in our mental tank to keep us going.
To this end, Dr. Afremow offers the following set of effective mental training tools:
- Clear and challenging short and long-term goals.
- Visualization of making great plays and succeeding on the field. (Feel free to apply this to whatever endeavour you are working to develop excellence at.)
- Positive, energetic language used to motivate yourself into a winning frame of mind.
- A consistent breath during all moments of action.
- Confident, upbeat body language to get the feeling of success in your body and mind.
“Your mentality will either hold you down or bring you up,” concludes Afremow. “Strive to master your mind rather than being mastered by it. If you don’t, you risk losing every game before it even starts.”
Business leaders: how can you grow your work and leadership skills using Dr. Afremow’s mental training tools?
To learn more about Dr. Afremow, his work or his book, visit his website GoldMedalMind.net.
Jason is the Content and Community guy at 360Insights.com Connect with Jason on Twitter @JayKing71, LinkedIn or Google+ 360 is changing the world of incentives. To find out how, book a call with us now!