Taking a trip down memory lane, I want to share with you the things I learned when working with a sport psychologist called Paul. We were working with Scotland Lacrosse, prepping for the 2014 World Championships in Denver.
Paul was awesome.
One of his main interests, and a real focus for us as we prepared the squad, was how to create a team of individuals capable of recognising momentum - what direction it was moving in, and how to use this knowledge to take appropriate action.
Athletes in a fast paced team sport like lacrosse need to be able to understand and where possible control momentum.
You, in your pursuit of health and fitness goals, also need this skillset.
You might not have someone trying to chase after you and hit you with a six foot lacrosse stick but we all have challenges to deal with!
So what did we focus on?
Firstly we all agreed on the following statements:
- You can only control your own contribution
- There are windows of opportunity and also windows of vulnerability.
When it comes to fitness, those windows might be a chance to go for a walk with a friend or it might be someone offering you an extra helping of takeaway food.
We also would regularly asked ourselves the following questions
- What needs to happen to change the outcome?
- What are the defining moments?
- Who or what are your momentum zappers? Or your momentum kickstarters?
If you’ve not completed a workout for five days in a row, what needs to happen to ensure day 6’s outcome won’t be the same? It can be hard to realise a defining moment in the present, but looking back it’s easier to see where we made good choices, and where we didn’t.
Finally for the lacrosse team, we decided on a simple acronym or focus point to help us keep on task in the heat of battle. We came up with this…
COCO - Control, Openness, Concentration, Optimism
It worked for the squad, and their goals for the championships and I think it has a lot of relevance to our health and fitness world too!
Remember, you can only control your contribution. Keep an open mind. Concentrate on your goal and stay optimistic!