To be the best, you have to defeat those who are considered among the best. Which requires boldly challenging each team to prove why they should be considered better than your team. In order to accomplish this, not only do you have to think that you can beat them, but you have to believe you deserve to compete against them.
Oh my god, she’s dressed in Nikes. She looks like she can play.
I heard she’s quick. I don’t think I’m quicker than she is.
They are a ranked team so let us try to stick with them. We don’t want to get blown out.
Unfortunately, these were a part of my thought life early in my athletic career.
If you exam these statements closely, you’ll see an athlete who has already made excuses of why she and/or her team is going to lose before competition has even started. You can also see an attitude that says “Lets play not to lose” instead of “Lets play to win.”
This is a defeatist attitude. The problem with this attitude is that it reveals to whoever has it, and her opponents, that she thinks she is going to lose.
If you think you are going to lose more than likely, you are going to lose. Your body language and action in competition will follow what you believe.
A good opponent will see it and use it against you.
If your opponent knows you are already expecting them to beat you, then that supports their belief that they will win against you. They have confirmation. This increases your opponent’s confidence, which strengthens their position against you.
And they will play like it!
Remember, as an athlete your major objective is always to win regardless of who you are playing against.
Always put pressure on your opponent to make them prove to you that they can beat you. Their reputation or rank is only important when you are preparing for competition against them.
That team has a strong defense so we have to use this offense to beat them . . .
She is quick, so I have to play her like this to beat her . . .
To help during competition entertain thoughts like:
She is not going to get the ball, versus, I will try to stop her from getting the ball.
I am going to score, versus, Their defense my not allow me to score.
In other words, be aggressive in your thoughts. Your actions will follow.
You are in your opponent’s league. You belong there. Think like it, so you can play like it. Remember, you are one of the better, who are among the best.
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Browse my website 5starattitude.com for more information about how to become a super athlete.
About the Author: Geraline L. Handsome has developed a passion to help high school and college athletes of team sports discover their identity. She is a former Women’s Basketball Player for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). There she earned a B.S. degree in chemistry/mathematics. She has a MBA from the University of Phoenix. She is an Environmental Scientist and the mother of two. She is the author of the book Sins of One Woman’s Mind and was a Huffington Post Contributor.
Geraline L. Handsome has developed the Creating the Super Athlete Course (Audio/Video), a product designed to help parents and coaches help their athletes develop attitudes and character that will enable them to perform better in their sport, in the classroom, and in public.