“Mastery is achieved through deliberate practice…”
The quote holds true not just in sports, but also in most fields of human endeavor.
Indeed, expertise requires deliberate practice. This means being intentional about assessing and improving both the tactical and technical aspects of your game.
But did you know that the same mindset that steers your practice could actually limit your performance?
There are different demands on you when you practice, and when you perform. Your goals are different.
Hence, your Mindset needs to be different too.
The Two Mindsets
The Training Mindset helps you to practice effectively especially when you are learning new skills or refining certain aspects of your game. Meanwhile, the Trust or Performance Mindset comes from motor memory or rather, what you have already repeated in practiced. Here, you perform freely and intuitively by relying on memory instead of giving yourself step-by-step commands such as, “Swing my arm really high up, plant my foot and bend my knee really low before following through…”
In other words, with the Performance Mindset, you trust in your skills. Your performance flows without thinking about “how to” to perform.
Most dedicated athletes are very good with the Practice Mindset, but need help transitioning from the Practice Mindset to a Performance Mindset when they compete. Your objective is to have a balance between these two mindsets.
The notion ‘Train to Trust and Trust in Train’ means that you need to practice and work hard to improve your game, and trust what you have practiced when competing.
Here are some strategies to help you with both mindsets.
Train to Trust
- Have an active mind: Be active while you practice and don’t train mindlessly. Put your heart into it as you work. Monitor your progress, and judge how well you are doing based on your goals.
- Focus on improvement: While you practice, you want to keep raising your bar higher at each turn. That way, you push to be the best version of yourself.
- Representative Learning Design: As far as possible, practice should be representative of the actual game. This will help you develop the ability to perform according to the demands of competition.
Trust in Train
- Be decisive: When you trust in the training, you trust your guts and do the first thing that comes to mind. You do not second guess and play with your instincts, which are now inherent due to your training.
- Quiet your mind: You may overthink your skills and feel inadequate for the job. When all these doubts to rush at you, breathe and relax. It’s just another game, and tell yourself you will be fine.
- Be functional: The truth is that you will not always be at your best when you compete. All you have to do is DO your job. Getting the job done involves you sticking to whatever works on that day and getting it right. Do not bother about what you are not getting right. Stick to what’s working and get the wins.
“Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift, and steady.”Bruce Lee
The abovementioned quote pretty much sums up the notion of ‘Train to Trust and Trust in Train’. Being able to adopt the right mindset at the right time will push you into performances you have never thought possible!