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Want To Speed Up Learning? Do This!

Mindset Made Simple Tip #165

Watch or listen HERE.


We say it all the time “Let me see!” Do we really mean, “Let me see?”…Like see?…With our eyes?


Or do we mean let me think about it and figure out what we need to do?


Either way, our propensity to use this phrase may help us learn new skills and information in a more productive way. Keep reading and I'll explain!


It’s that time of year. There is a ton of new information floating around. Coaches and leaders are filled with energy and fresh ideas.


And then…we start to share new information and ideas…and we are met with dazed looks, anxiety-ridden listeners and uncomfortable shifts and fidgets.


As we have noted over the past few Tips, new stuff is hard for us. Our brains don’t dig it. We would rather be safe and sound than pushed out of our comfort zones.


However, our comfort zones will soon become uncomfortable if we don’t grow and change. Why? Because everything around us is changing, growing, taking in new information and accounting for new variables and if we don’t, we won’t get where we need to be to compete!


Maybe our comfort zones should be called “you aren’t going to get what you want” zones when it comes to peak performance.


No matter what we call them, new information is critical to growth. And as you are teaching and pushing, pulling and prodding those you lead out of their “whatever we want to call them” zones, I have an idea that may help them grab on to what you are putting out there a bit more productively...a way to get them to "see" what it is they need to do!


According to Dr. Michael Posner, a leading expert in attention research, directed attention allows us to focus on relevant information while filtering out distractions. This skill forms the foundation of effective learning and high performance. Our ability to harness and guide attention is a game-changer.


Here is the catch…and there is always a catch when it comes to the mental side of performance!


Did you know that if information is not repeated or rehearsed it is gone within 15 – 30 seconds? POOF!


Think about it. Someone tells you his or her name and two seconds later, you have no idea whether it is Bill, Bob or Brittani! GONE!


The same thing happens to your athletes, employees or colleagues when you are sharing a new tactic or technique.


You say it. You line them up to do a drill. The first few kids go through and that fifth kid says “What am I supposed to do?”


RAAAAAHHHHHHH!


You ask, of course, “Where have you been?” through pursed lips!


The answer to this question could have a million answers! Distractions abound.


I think most of us believe we are distracted by external stimuli…people, our environment and other things outside of us are to blame for us not paying attention and taking in (and saving) new or pertinent information.


But not so, bucko!


Most of our distractions are INTERNAL…90% of them are according to Nir Eyal, former lecturer at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Design and author of Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.


Great. We can’t see, hear or feel 90% of the things that distract those we are counting on to execute and yet we need to manage these variables!


While internal focus is essential for self-awareness and personal growth, it can overshadow the importance of external cues in learning and skill execution.


Even though there is always a catch when tackeling the mental side of the game, there is always a solution as well. We can’t see all our distractions, but we can “see” what we need to see and remember what we need to remember if we have a system to do so!


If information fades into the abyss in 15-30 seconds, we need a way to get it from short-term memory to working memory (where we combine concepts to plan and execute behaviors/skills) and then on to our long-term memory and into a process that can be repeated without conscious thought (or added to with new and important variables).


Check out the final image in this infographic and you can see where our fifth athelte in line get into trouble with attention!

To help us store the new information to be used in 30 seconds, two minutes or two weeks, we need to REHEARSE it - DELIBERATELY!


You can choose to do this as a group or instruct your athletes to do it individually. You may want to start doing it together.


Here is the simple process.


  1. You talk. They actively listen with eyes connected to yours. Explain what is expected with all relevant information.

  2. They talk. They repeat what you said out loud (or in their heads, you choose).

  3. They “see” it. They mentally rehearse, in as much detail as you just explained it or in more if they have other skills, techniques or tactics they can tie into the rehearsal.

  4. They do it.

  5. If it’s important enough, you review it a short time later or before you leave the session to help them recall, and again rehearse, the skill, etc.


Now they will remember the "name"...because they deliberately rehearsed it!


I use something similar to this when I am trying to remember the names of those I just met. First I listen! I then repeat his/her name out loud (in a sentence, of course!) I then see someone else I know with that name that will help it feel familiar to me.


Is this foolproof? No. But it keeps me from thinking about what they are thinking or thinking about what I want to say next and missing the whole interaction!


This DELIBERATE REHEARSAL keeps us present! It keeps us out of our heads and away from the 90,000 internal distractions, like, “This is a dumb drill” or “I’m tired and hungry” or whatever stupid stuff that takes us away from gathering information that is going to make us better!!


Say it. See it. Do it. This moves it…and moves us toward better outcomes because we have the information we need to be better!


Dr. Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, once said, "Attention is the most essential mental quality because it allows us to experience life as it unfolds."


If we aren’t there at the unfolding because we are distracted by who-knows-what, we can’t “see” what we need to do! The mental habit of DELIBERATELY REHEARSING can help us watch the unfolding as it is happening and replay it in detail when we need it!


Here is to deliberately rehearsing and managing the moments!


Julie


P.S. Hire me to work with your team for one day or all year. Let’s put together a mental training plan that works for your team. Shoot me an email at juliej@ssbperformance.com and let’s get started before 2023-24 program pricing increase begin!


Julie Jones

Mental Performance Coach

SSB Performance

www.ssbperformance.com

juliej@ssbperformance.com • 234-206-0946

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