How To Create A Winning Self-Image for Mental Toughness in Sports

Every athlete wants to win – but do you have a the kind of winning
self-image that allows you to crush the competition? This article will
give you two killers tips to developing a winning self-image in sport.

Lisa on the Ice HockeyThis year I experienced my first ever ‘scoring slump’, where I went six games in a row without scoring.

It’s tough to admit, but my slump quite devastated me.

My teammates just laughed. “You can’t be seriously upset. Slumps are normal. You’re just spoiled. Get over it.”

Not helpful, right?

At the same time, the mental toughness training I was doing was not helping me much. This was a bit embarrassing since this is my day job!

Our next game was the final of our city championships. Before I knew it, we were in triple overtime, and my team passed me the ring.

I looked up. A breakaway!

I had a breakaway on the net, and if I scored, we would WIN our city championship against our arch-rivals.

Piece of cake, right?

I raced to the net and took what I thought was a deadly, winning shot.

Nothing! Nada. Zilch. Zero.

The goalie made a save and stuffed me like a turkey at Thanksgiving.

I was horrified and dumbfounded.

What on earth was going on?

Not only was my slump now extended to seven games, I just had the PERFECT chance to score and win the game for my team…and blew it.

Fortunately, we won the game. But, I could not erase the image of this failure in my mind.

At first I pretended to myself that everything was fine. “I took a good shot and it was just bad luck.”

But somewhere inside me, I knew that this failure was NOT a fluke.

Maybe you can relate.

Have you ever done everything right on the surface, yet still things don’t feel right, and you manage to come up just a bit short? And, what’s worse, you can’t pin down what’s wrong?

I decided to come clean.

I dug down deep into my heart.

I finally realized that due to a series of events I won’t bore you with, my self-image as a game-winning sniper had been weakened this year.

To the naked eye, I was the same player, doing all the same things. But inside, I didn’t feel like a complete, take-no-prisoners winner who could dictate the outcome of a game.

For the next week, I tried a several methods specifically designed to create an image of myself in my mind as a talented, unstoppable, WINNER.

Here are a couple of things I learned along the way…

Tip #1 – Stop Conning Yourself

Swimmer VictoryI’ve found that whenever we’re dealing with a mental barrier to winning or performing lights out, it’s tempting to not face it and try to con ourselves into believing it’s something else. “I was extra tired.” “My team isn’t passing to me.” “I didn’t use the right strategy.”

I think we do this because we’re scared to admit the mental barrier…we think it’s shameful or impossible to overcome.

There’s an easy way to get around this…Just eliminate your “excuse” and if you still aren’t getting the wins you should be, you KNOW your mind is tripping you up.

Example: if your teammates aren’t passing to you, then the very next game, don’t pass for awhile – shoot when you have a good scoring chance. If you still aren’t scoring, chances are you have a mental barrier or self-image problem you need to clean up.

Tip #2 – Get Over Your Intimidation

If deep down you have the self-image of the underdog, get your mental ducks in a row by deciding to handle this once and for all.

Start by realizing that every athlete who has “broken through” was also intimidated at first.

Mark Tewksbury, one of the greatest swimmers of all time, says that when we first visualized winning, it was positively scary for him.

He had to imagine beating his HERO, legend Matt Biondi, and it was quite a shock.

Most athletes don’t realize this shock is normal, so they let it prevent them from seeing themselves as a winner.

Once you accept that thinking of yourself as a dominant winner is out of your comfort zone, it will be easier.

By the way, I’m about to release a new audio program that will reveal a miraculous winning self-image secret that will allow you to and crush opponents and WIN consistently without any extra training, practice, or conditioning.

And if you don’t already get my free newsletter that includes tips and strategies on mental toughness for sport as we as special pre-launch discounts on all my programs, you and sign up for it here.

Your friend,
Lisa B.

About the Author

Lisa Lane BrownLisa Brown is the founder of the Courage to Win and is considered the world's leading expert on deep mental toughness for success in career, love, and sport. She has personally coached over 7,200 achievers to new heights and conducted over 1,300 live seminars on mental toughness across North America. She has been featured by major media including the New York Times and Entrepreneur Magazine, who called the Courage to Win “a straight-forward guide to success, highly recommended.”View all posts by Lisa Lane Brown →

  1. Sheri Krauss
    Sheri Krauss04-18-2014

    Thanks for sharing Lisa
    I have to start by saying your subject is the farthest from the truth – you did not blow it at all!
    You have once again shown why you are an ultimate champion
    You see most players would look at your scoring slump as a sign that they had met there match and the skills of there opponents had now surpassed theirs. The slump would continue game after game as their confidence and love for the game slowly diminished.
    As the true champion you are this “slump” as you viewed it allowed you to take a hard look at what was happening and use it to your advantage.
    You took the player who could always control the outcome of a game to the ULTIMATE athlete.
    A true athlete does not rely on skill and talent alone.
    An over confident player can always be beat. An under confident player gets beat no matter what skill they bring to the ice
    A player who has skill and talent combined with the inner strength to believe and better themselves is a player that will always demand more and push all parts of their game to the next level notated how good they are (they can always be better)
    Congratulations at taking your game to the next level and not just relying on talent and skill

    Sharing your journey makes you a champion that shows young girls that they too can take their game to the next level since they realize that you are not a champion because of skill alone and that gift is priceless!!!

    Thanks again and keep striving to be greater!

    Sheri

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