You may have already heard that Mike Fisher, a 17-year NHL veteran hit 1, 000 games in March*! It’s a tremendous accomplishment especially in a sport where only 4 percent of NHL players reach 1000 games and over half never make it to 100 games**.
Players who enjoy long successful careers are not only gifted physically, they have a strong mental game and support system.
Mental and emotional stress resulting from both the external and internal pressure of being an elite athlete can result in Brain-Overload (B.O.) and that stinks.
Symptoms of brain overload include:
• Mental and physical exhaustion
• Mental confusion
• Debilitating lack of confidence
• Analysis paralysis
• Lack of focus
• Inconsistent results
• Sleeplessness or broken sleep
• Inability to unwind.
• Inappropriate emotional outbursts.
Brain-overload slows down the brain, which in turn negatively impacts performance, confidence, enjoyment of the game, all major factors that can contribute to poor results and ultimately early retirement.
How Do You Get Brain-Overload?
Simple, too much information and unrelenting internal pressure in the form of negative self-talk, self-doubt and our own expectations and external pressure from coaches, media, family and fan expectations.
The answer, though, isn’t to eliminate the pressure but to help the brain defend against the onslaught of negative forces so it can be your most powerful weapon on the ice.
The Biggest Mistake Elite Athletes Make When Managing Brain-Overload
Reality check, the biggest mistake most athletes make is trying to fix the problem by working harder.
There’s nothing wrong with good old fashioned hard work, it got you to the level you’re at now. The problem is that just working on your form and doing more conditioning is like changing the tires on your car when the problem is the engine. If the problem is brain-overload, then you work on the brain.
3 Things You Can Do to Defend Your Brain Now
Here’s what you can do instead.
- Monitor your self-talk. There’s a myth that being self-critical will push you to perform better.Not True! Negative self-talk actually creates internal pressure that forces the brain to overload and misfire.
- Focus very specifically on what you DO want, not on what you do not want.Sounds simple, but when you have a habit of focusing on what you don’t want to happen over and over, “I don’t want to miss the puck,” your mind creates an internal picture of what that looks like and takes action on it.For example, if I said, “I don’t want to eat any chocolate.” What do you suppose I’m thinking about? Chocolate. And how long do you think it will take before I rummage through my cupboards looking for the bar that I hid earlier that morning? When you focus on what you DO want, you give your brain very specific instructions that will yield more productive results.
- Find a model of excellence! If you believe that now is the time to make a change, then now is the time to find your trainer or coach. One with a proven track record of success. You can save time and money by reading a book, watching a video demonstration, or making a bold move and contacting them personally. Isn’t it time you took action?
Isabelle Hamptonstone, MSc., trains NHL hockey players and other elite athletes to upgrade the efficiency of their brain to establish optimum levels of behavior under pressure.
She is the founder of Brain Train International, Specialists in Confidence, Performance, and Inner Strength Training and creator of the C.P.I. Matrix, a signature process that comprehensively deals with mental and emotional strain to vastly improve levels of play in minutes (versus years that some therapies require).
Her latest book, “Hockey Confidence” is a #1 Bestseller in both the USA and Canada. CLICK HERE to access your free chapter now.
If you feel that it’s time for you to take back control of your brain, vastly improve your level of play, and leave a legacy you’ll be proud of, then contact her today for a 20-Minute Consultation. Just click here to fill out the questionnaire.
(1 *) www.nhlpa.com/news/a-milestone-achievement-for-fisher
(2 **) www.quanthockey.com/Distributions/CareerLengthGP.php