Negative Eyes

Read this...


What did you read?

1. Opportunity is no where?

2. Opportunity is now here?

This is a really simple illustration that most of us are conditioned to be 'negative'. I read this in one of several books I have by Damian Hughes. The Liquid Thinking Survival Guide To Change. Check it out, a great read for any S&C coach that wants to influence change and behaviour in athletes, coaches, parents etc.

I'm working through a number of the exercises with one of my young tennis players who is facing a lot of change over the next 2-3 years.

What Damian goes on to explain is that research shows we are programmed to focus on failure and disappointment far more than success and achievement. He illustrates throughout his book how the mind can actually impact on our own moods and feelings. So what has this got to do with strength and conditioning? Two things:

1. Career - I hear a lot of aspiring coaches telling me that OPPORTUNITY IS NO WHERE - I can't get a job, I can't gain experience, I can't get an internship....I can't... I can't.... I can't. There are just no opportunities. Blimey, just writing that made me feel negative! I'm sorry, I'm not having it! There are opportunities everywhere, you just choose to view it with negative eyes. If you want to make it as an S&C coach you need to start seeing that OPPORTUNITY IS NOW HERE!

2. Performance - anyone working in sport will know that it can be a bumpy ride and the road to success can be tough at times. It is very easy to focus on the negatives. Now anyone that knows me will know that I don't go round blowing smoke up my athletes arses or hug them at the end of every session. I like a bit of positive feedback as much as the next coach but sometimes a reality check is needed. However, it's important as a coach to recognise when our athletes are falling into what Damian calls the 'pessimism cycle'.

When faced with challenges it's all too easy to 'sledge' ourselves. What we need to do is remind our athletes of previous positive successes. All top level athletes have fear and negative thoughts, it's just that the really good ones are able to ditch the bits that don't help and hold onto the positive thoughts that do.

Life is not an endless cycle of positivity but the key to your success as a coach and the success of your athletes is how you chose to view the situation.

View it through negative eyes and you will miss the opportunity that is right in front of you.

Let me know what you think.