Mindset Made Simple Tip #29 - Pound the Process! (Feb. 1, 2021)
It is February! And for 30 years of my life, February meant softball was in full effect!
As all of you who have coached for decades know, at first, February consisted of more practice than competition for softball/baseball coaches, but as the years passed, the first weekend of February brought the first games of the season.
As softball, baseball, lacrosse and track coaches prepare for the first competitions of the season (and this year adding our traditional fall Olympic sports to this list), let’s go back to last’ weeks tip and revisit the importance of THE PROCESS!
As a reminder, these 4 Ps – PRESENT, POSITIVE, PROCESS, POSTURE – are the difference between success and failure.
As we approach competition, whether it is our first game of the season or our 20th....or the conference championship, it is important to remind our athletes that NO MATTER WHAT, the PROCESS DOES NOT CHANGE!
Game day, practice day, championship day – they are ALL THE SAME IF we have a solid process – and if we practice and follow it!
As we learned in the movie Hoosiers, the basket is always 10 feet high, the plate is always 17 inches wide, the 100 meters is always 100 meters…the skill is the skill. Period!
Ask your athletes what changes when they walk on the game field from when they walk on the practice field!
I am certain that the only real thing that changes is their MINDSET!
All of the sudden, the pressure mounts…the outcome matters!
BUT…we can’t control the outcome – that falls on the uncontrollable side of our Controllables list!
We can KEEP POUNDING THE PROCESS, however. It doesn’t sound as exciting, but if we do it consistently, the compounding effects of our routines, daily habits and process (considering they are all positive) translate into SUCCESS!
We all have a process as runners, hitters, pitchers, point guards... and as teams…JUST KEEP POUNDING THE PROCESS!
It is like watching my 100-year-old great-grandfather put a roof on a house when I was in high school.
I bet he struck the nail as a 100-year-old the same way he did as a 20-year-old.
I am certain he didn’t change his process because it was cold or hot, because he was old, because I was watching or because he wanted the roof of my uncle’s house to be better than any other roof he had laid in the past.
He just struck the nail. He hit the top of the nail because it was the most efficient way to connect the shingle to the roof.
It didn’t matter if it was the first strike of the nail or the last, he used the same strategy EVERY TIME…and boy, was he efficient! Amazing, actually!
He was amazing...but he wasn't thinking about how the house would look, if it would weather the elements or if he looked good as he was driving the nail. I am sure of that! He was doing his job with the same process he always used! (The rest of us were a bit stressed about a centenarian crawling around 2nd floor roof but he showed us...and lived to see me finish my college career!).
Maybe we can help our athletes avoid the ""it's the first game"..."the championship game" or the OUTCOME trap if we ask them to think of games and practice in this way.
Games are different for fans, the media, our support staff and others outside of our program.
But games for us are an extension of our process – an opportunity to perfect it…to play out what you have practiced…at practice…in non- conference games…in first games….in conference games…in championship games…every time is the same…it is a game…with a process that WE WILL POUND!
The most successful teams…in games and in practice…can manage the moment…. stay in the NOW and follow their process!
When we feel pressure or start to think about the outcome…or “I have to” …. we abandon our PROCESS and abandon all of the things that have worked in the past!
We rush…we press…we think about the next minute or the last and not THIS MINUTE, THIS SKILL, THIS PITCH!
We are time travelers, mind wanderers and stimuli seekers, so we need to be giving our brains selective information…we need to keep it in the NOW…we need to be able to SWITCH or SHIFT back to THIS (you fill in the blank).
...to what is important NOW!
We need full engagement in our PROCESS so we can be fully committed to THIS PLAY, then the next, then the next…all in their own time!
If I can help you share tips with your team on how to POUND THE PROCESS and stay in the NOW, please reach out! I would love to spend some time with them and share some very effective tools!
Have a wonderful week!
Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach
firstname.lastname@example.org • 234-206-0946
Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9