3 Tips to Become a Better Competitor
By Legend Boyesen Hayes
Being consistent is crucial for being a good competitor. When you are reliable with performance it gives you and others around you confidence in your game, which is necessary for those big time moments. Developing winning habits that set you up daily for success turn you into an unstoppable force. It’s all about the daily wins. They can be as little or as big as you want but, stacking those positive wins everyday towards your big goal gives you hundreds or even thousands of hours of confidence. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking they’ll suddenly figure out the technique or movement one day if they try enough different stuff. Those are the athletes that may be good during midseason but, will never be great in the postseason when it counts. You don’t have to force it, small improvements everyday will stack up to huge improvements in time. Think long-term and deliver when it counts.
Reading, or gaining knowledge through studying, is a pivotal tool to becoming a better competitor. Leaders are always readers, and when you decide to become a student of your game you accelerate the learning curve of your mental potential. Also, when you read you retain knowledge differently from listening to people or watching videos. It activates different sections of the brain and utilizes your imagination. This creates an even stronger mental connection to your understanding of your craft, developing new neural pathways. Consider reading to be great exercise for your brain. The more you work out your brain and gain knowledge, the stronger you will be mentally.
Fall in love with pressure
You should thrive under pressure, it should be something that you accept and take as a challenge. If thinking of becoming the #1 girl or guy on your team to take hold of the most responsibility during pressure intimidates you, good. Challenge yourself to face the pressure and accept taking some failures. Pressure is good for athletes, it puts them in the zone. The zone is a place where you don’t think about what your doing, the mind is quiet and your instincts take over. Its that state of mind that’s cool and collected but ready for war. All elite competitors know to put themselves in the zone every time to dominate the while everyone else is struggling with pressure. Find that one thing that will put yourself in that zone before you compete. It doesn’t have to be forced with hype but, it has to be intensely focused. Diamonds aren’t made in average conditions. They are forged with incredible pressure for long periods of time. The athletes that shine brightest and last longest in competition withstand the diamond level process. Make friends with pressure.
Notice how these tips are related to the mental side of the athlete. Your physical body can be pushed only to a certain point with excellent programs. It's the mind and spirit that moves the body beyond what is deemed possible. If you’ve read this far congratulations. You’re one of the few that gives a damn about getting better. Work on these tips and become a mental juggernaut in competition.