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Mindset Made Simple Tip #24 – RIGHT NOW!

Since it seems fitting, so I bet you think I am going to talk about New Year resolutions and how 80% of them fail before the beginning of February!

Well, that percentage is true and, and in fact, only 8% make it all year long (that’s actually pretty good, I think 😊)!

But instead of repeating the stats we all hear at this time of the year, I want to reflect on the way I was feeling the other day when I realized winter break was coming to an end.

I remember my mom getting a little sad at the end of break, too, not wanting us to go back to school. Talk about making your kids feel loved! I now realize how sweet those sentiments were!

I guess I am my mother’s daughter because a similar thing happens to me at this time of the year, on Sunday mornings, mid- vacation or in the mist of any event I enjoy.

I start to think “there are only 3 more days of vacation or winter break.” “This concert is almost over, and I could listen all night.” “My son is so cute at this stage and I don’t want him to grow out of it.”

Whatever the event or experience, I start to spoil the fun thinking about that fact that it is going to end.

Why do I insist on looking at the negative instead of enjoying the time that is left? This mind-wandering is frustrating and not useful!!

We live so much of our time in the past or future, that we don’t fully experience what is going on RIGHT NOW!

Admit it, you’ve been there. We can’t help ourselves.

We think about what we did, relive it, wallow in it, obsess over it OR we look ahead and worry, anticipate, or wish things would come faster (or slower) than time allows to get us (or keep us) somewhere we think we want to be.

Our athletes DO THE SAME THING!

And as they are time-traveling in their heads, we need them to perform at their best.

Not going to happen!

What can we do to help them…and ourselves?

How can we enjoy RIGHT NOW and not let the past or the future ruin the opportunity that exists RIGHT NOW?

There are several ways we can do a better job of LIVING IN THE NOW and it is my RESOLUTION to do a better job of this in 2021 and beyond.

As is with anything, improvement begins with our SUPERPOWER – SELF-AWARENESS!

As we start to listen to our inner voice and pay attention to our time travel to the past and future, we can begin to adjust.

One way to stay in the moment is to observe something in a slightly different way. Look at your surroundings. Instead of watching something unfold as you expect it to or have so often before, look for something different in your environment that increases your focus and draws you in to the experience. Listen, feel, smell, taste something in a different way.

I often talk to teams about using the 5-4-3-2-1 process used in cognitive behavioral therapy to calm anxiety as a way to shift focus and stay in the now. See 5 things, touch 4 things, hear 3 things, smell 2 things and taste 1 thing.

This may be a bit longer process than you need, but it works! Just doing even one of the steps pulls us back into the present!

Observing others and getting out of your own head is also a huge help. When we focus on things outside of us, we tend to worry less and experience the moment much more fully. I’ll get back to this in a moment!

Another way is to ask yourself questions about what you are seeing or doing. This helps bring you back to the present. Most of our questions about the past are “why” questions and our questions about the future are “what” questions. Questions about now can be more like the questions a journalist asks and include both of those AND where, how and who! If we are asking about now, we have to be there now!

As for our players, get them to focus on the steps of the process and out of their own heads as mentioned above – observe the speed of the ball, the seams, the defensive coverage, the teammate’s cut to the basket, the direction of the flag blowing in the wind…anything that is important NOW!

They can also take a moment to say in their head (or out loud if they need to), “right now I am….”

The point is that when we think too far ahead or too far behind, we ruin what is.

There is ONLY ONE TIME over which we have any control. And that is RIGHT NOW!

So here is to a great 2021 and the enjoyment of RIGHT NOW – the time we have with our families, our teams and doing what we love or better enduring things we don’t!

I hope you’ll join me in making a commitment to appreciating RIGHT NOW!

This is an important thing to talk with your athletes about as you train them to perform at the top of their game. They won’t play their best if they are worried about the future or reliving the last play!

If I can help your team prepare their minds for 2021 and beyond, I would love to help! I know how hard it is to fit mental training into a practice and competitive schedules, but it is SO IMPORTANT and I am certain we can find a way…and it won’t break your budget either!

Wishing you all a great start to the New Year! Here is to living it fully and performing our best!

Happy New Year!


Julie Jones

Certified Mental Performance & Mindset Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946



Be strong and courageous. Joshua 1:9

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