Post By: Richardlistens | Monday, June 8, 2020

sport psychology performance STRESS COURAGE

Fire in the belly! The will to survive! The desire to compete! When I think of all of these phrases I think of the ability to find courage within and perform at all costs, despite the pressure faced or stakes involved. If there is one thing that crisis teach us, whether it be COVID, quarantine, injury, or a lost season in our favorite past times, it is that finding the courage to venture forward and press on with our goals and personal growth is a key determinant in how we fair when the dust settles. The attitude of resilience or courage exists within each of us. Just like Simba needing to find his roar in the Lion King in order to have the courage to be King, we all need an opponent or a test of our will to rise against so that we can adapt as performers, as athletes, and as human beings.

I am trained in the stress reduction method of Somatic Experience. The major premise behind the teachings and practice is that the body “keeps score” or remembers early life experiences and processes information about experiences that are both pleasant and adverse. This may seem like common sense: that if someone pushed you on the schoolyard and then you both ended up in the principal's office, you may have some distinct memories of pain, anger, and empathy all wrapped in one. Self-disclosure I can still see the principal holding the walkie talkie when she threatened to report my accomplice to his dad and risk his Christmas presents. The takeaway is that whether it be seemingly innocuous moments that were emotionally charged or serious moments of childhood trauma such as abuse or grief, we often revisit the feelings we are holding onto by paying attention to the ways in which we each uniquely hold our pain. Finding courage can be facing the stress we are under, asking for help, and having the courage to work through painful emotions. As athletes finding courage can also mean digging deeper, challenging ourselves to face greater challenges, and taking greater risks to be a leader, conquer new achievement goals, or be a better teammate.

My goal for you is to use Mindurance and any resource or platform available to help you find courage on the field and off, to apply the strategies you learn as a performer to your emotional life so that you can rise up and face your opponent. Whatever challenge you are facing or approaching and however it will look as we transition into life post quarantine, the will to find and use your inner courage will determine how far you will go in reaching your goals and the degree to which you will continue to thrive, not in spite of, but due to the adversity you have walked through. My goal for you and all of the performers I am fortunate enough to work with is that you will find your roar and courage alongside you so that any obstacle will appear smaller from the outset.