Coaching Reflection

When they’re engaging in a process of reflection…reflecting on the game they’ve just played…l suggest to players that they split the mental side of the game from the performance……even though they are inextricably linked!

I do this because I want players, no matter their sport, to be a student of mindset and a student of their mindset.

“Give me a mark out of 10 for your performance…and give me a mark out of 10 for your mindset”

A simple scaling protocol of 0-10 is sufficient. In a world full of complex data, such simplicity is welcomed by players, and is enough to help them strip back emotion and consider their game through their subjective (but vital) lense.

Once they’ve given me their marks, we can have a fantastic conversation:

“7/10 for performance and 9/10 for mindset?

Great job with the mental side of the game. Tell me more about that…what helped you to give yourself 9/10? What did you do specifically? Talk me through that. And how do you think your mindset impacted your performance?”

Now can you see how separating performance and mindset can help you to consider how theyimpact each other? Such analysis can help players to have a deeper, more meaningful relationship with mindset. 

“What I hear you say is that you felt your focus was better than ever today, and that you dealt with distractions quickly. You kept an external focus often, so you could keep searching for space. That’s awesome!

And I hear you say that you felt your mindset really boosted your performance, that it turned what would have been a 6/10 game into a 7/10 game. That sounds like some serious progress”

Self-knowledge built…self-improvement noted…my client is purposefully building their self-efficacy around the mental side of the game.

And now we can finish off our reflection time by considering the upcoming week…

“What have you got to do this week to maintain your 9/10 mindset?”

“Ah, I hear you. Take the techniques we’ve been working on in training and keep putting them first. And make sure you put mindset first for next week’s game. I gotcha!”

And here’s the cherry on the icing: I know my client, the competitive sole that she is, will be competitive against herself mentally. She’ll work her backside off to make sure she follows up her 9/10 with something similar next week. She will direct her feelings of competitiveness towards her mindset.

And you know, as long as there’s a little flexibility there, I think that’s such a healthy space to occupy. Relaxed about performance, focused on mindset. Relaxed with performance, accompanied by an insistence on excellence with mindset.
That’s ok to me. That’s safe. That’s healthy. That’s progressive. That’s a winning mentality if ever there was one!