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Training Your Mind Tips – Lessons from Elite Sport

by Matt Jordan on May 17, 2012 No comments

After 8 week hard weeks of training for many of my athletes and over 10 years working with the world’s best athletes, I thought I would take a minute to reflect on some lessons that I’ve learned from Elite Sport.  All too often, the lessons and thoughts I throw out are about training and physical performance but in this blog I want to focus on some important thoughts on training your mind and your spirit.

So here they are, in no specific order:

  1. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable – fear of being in an uncomfortable position keeps us from achieving success… it’s ok to feel uncomfortable… in fact you should welcome the opportunities that make you feel uncomfortable because they teach you about yourself
  2. Just because it’s hard to do the right thing, it doesn’t justify you doing the wrong thing – it’s hard to do the right thing sometimes but it’s still a choice to do the wrong thing…. don’t let the difficulty in making the hard but right choice be your justification for making the wrong but easier choice
  3. Plan backwards – know where you want to end up, and work backwards from their in your planning
  4. Be grateful for the opportunities you have been given in life, and come back to this realization when you are feeling down – feeling down about life is normal but after you’ve had your moment of sadness or disappointment, cultivate feelings of gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for all the little things you get to enjoy in life that so many other people in this world will never enjoy
  5. Impermanence – nothing is forever and change is constant… when the good moments are here this makes you appreciate them to a greater extent because the good moments are fleeting but when life is challenging and hard it reminds you that the hard times won’t last for ever and time has a way of making things better
  6. You gotta let people just BE who they are – you can’t change people, and you have to give people the space to be who they are
  7. Be ok with delivering a hard message that comes from the heart even if the message is not well received by the other person – now I’m not talking about being mean, hurtful or lacking tact, but sometimes we have to deliver the message and communicate our sincere feelings regardless of what others will say about it
  8. Don’t worry about an instant in time.. instead focus on trajectory – too many people evaluate their lives, profession, or sport based on how they are feeling in a particular moment…. focus on your trajectory… you may be at the top of the world and spiralling downwards or at the bottom of the world and working your way up… trajectory tells you more about how things are really going than a snapshot in time
  9. Look people in the eye, ask them how they are doing, and listen to what they say – not much to add on this one… I just know I need to do a better job of this
  10. Make a list of what’s important to you, and what your values are…hard decisions are a part of life but when you know your values and what’s important it brings clarity when things seem confusing and chaotic – One caveat on this one: don’t bullshit yourself… you need to be honest about what’s important to you even if others will judge you.  However, if you say something is important then mean it!

There you go… a few thoughts before you start your long weekend….tomorrow I’ll be remembering how lucky I am to be Canadian, possibly with a Canadian in hand.

Happy Canada Day friends.

Matt JordanTraining Your Mind Tips – Lessons from Elite Sport

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