Do You Complicate Your Sport and Underperform?

 Michael Cerreto, MS, CPCRT, CSC, LDR, Edu-K

Did you ever play the sport Selfoccer? How about Basketself? Better yet, Selfball?

If you haven’t, did you ever watch others play them?

You are probably saying “No, no, that’s absurd. Those sports don’t exist.”

But they do. For instance, when you watch a typical soccer game at any level, there are some players who mentally complicate their sport, so they are no longer playing the simple game of soccer. They are playing another sport altogether called Selfoccer. A sport more about themselves than their opponent.

Let’s start with the basic game of soccer. At its simplest level, it involves teams rapidly self-organizing themselves offensively and defensively to disorient and break down opponents. It involves moving your body with greater technical proficiency and speed than your opponent. But many players don’t mentally keep soccer at that basic level.

They layer onto the simple movements of their sport thoughts such as:

•     I better not make a mistake today.

•     Why does Sarah start over me or play more minutes?

•     The coach thinks Matt’s better than me. Nothing I do can prove otherwise.

•     I don’t want my coach angry at me.

•     I don’t want my teammates mad at me.

•     I can’t listen to another lecture from my parents after the game.

•     I am not good enough to play in college.

•     If I don’t play well, colleges will not be interested in me.

•     My coach doesn’t pay attention to me and only cares about the better players.

This list can go on and on, and is played out across all sports.

For these athletes, their sport is not simple. It is a representation of their self-worth as a player and person. Every pass, kick, hit, and throw is a test of their personal value and what others think about them. They significantly complicate their sport. They are no longer playing soccer, basketball, softball, baseball, lacrosse, golf, tennis or wrestling. They are playing selfoccer, basketself, selfball, selfcrosse, golfself, tenniself, and wrestleself.

All sports must focus exclusively on breaking down opponents. When athletes make their sport about themself, they stop focusing on breaking opponents will to win, and break their own will instead. They set themselves up to get what they fear the most, failure. 

What do you tell yourself to make your sports complicated and all about you? Share it with us.

If you need help simplifying your sport to reach your full potential, contact A Talented Mind Clinic at 804-337-1884,