Determination- this represents the strength of your intent. It consists of your motivation or the inner drive that propels you toward a goal. Commitment to your mission. Your will to succeed- strength of your inner resolve. Be rigid in your commitment to your goal, but flexible in the strategy you rely on to reach it.
Courage- is the ability to act despite fear. You must have the ability to risk, to be proactive and have a seize-the-initiative attitude. Your ability to risk success measures how eagerly you embrace the undesirable consequences that come with success. You acknowledge possible failure and act anyway.
Athletic poise- the ability to recognize and maintain a particular state of psychological readiness (such as relaxed, confident, focused on the present, energized, in control).
Responding to failure- never carry failure forward- see the performance as a learned experience not to be repeated unless positive. Your self talk after a performance confirms or denies the self image you brought into it. Accept the mistake and avoid wasting time in denial. Focus on the here and now and realize that you can't fix the mistake. Relax the muscles you reflexively tighten in response to making a mistake.
Relaxation- the next time you are stressed, try the five breath relaxation technique: Breath one- relax face and neck as you breathe out. Two- relax the shoulders and arms. Three- relax the chest, stomach and back. Four- relax the legs and feet. Five- focus on relaxing the whole body. Assume that your body is carrying around excess tension. Gateways to relaxation include the forehead, eyes, jaw, lips, back of the neck, shoulders, fingers and stomach. Also- try to breathe in a continuous and soothing flow. This is also known as the scuba or circular breath with no beginning or ending instead of a series of starts and stops.
Centering- focus all your attention internally on the area immediately behind your navel. Breathe normally, feeling very controlled, heavy and calm. feel rooted, grounded & stabilized. Put on a relaxation mask. Centering is also shifting from words and instructions to images and sensations.
Concentration- controlling the direction, width and selectivity of attention. Be in the endless series of present moments. Concentrate on fending off the adrenaline rush.
Poise- this is how we describe those who perform with ease under fire. They are able to make critical decisions, negotiating, presentations, multitasking. The right brain has the ability to pull away and apply some perspective. It sees how all the bits of information come together.
Resilience- the ability to hang tough through adversity and persevere despite mistakes, setbacks or failure is vital for success. Resilience consists of the ability to recover from a mistake, the ability to fight & stand your ground, and mental toughness to control your emotions and prevail regardless of what assault or setback you have suffered. . The ability to move on, to put a poor judgement, a wrong answer, a weak moment or a physical lapse behind you instantly. No matter what comes between you and your goal, you continue to move forward.
Precision- Avoid worrying too much about precision- obsession with precision often causes feelings of nervousness. Putting such a negative value on mistakes reduces enjoyment of the process. Focus more on continuous correction and staying in the moment. An ultimate performance is more about passion and correction than it is about perfection. The ultimate performer doesn't fear or obsess about being off because she knows how to take specific actions that will enable her to recover. Have the ability to feel, accept, regroup and recommit during rough and devastating times. The more specific, vibrant, and positive the pictures, colors, odors, tastes and textures, the more powerful the visionary process will become.
Goals- once your dreams and goals develop into nonnegotiable agreements, your debilitating feelings, low-energy states, internal conversations, feelings of insanity, and addictive throbbing will have less control over your destiny.
Performing in the moment- trust your skills and stay focused in the moment, rather than trying to remember what you are supposed to do. Use sensory actions to bring yourself back to the moment. Examples- taking a deep breath, focusing your eyes on an object, touching an object and feel the texture.
Act as if- 1. Form a picture in your mind of who you'd most like to be in terms of confidence- a better teacher, communicator, etc. Get a feel for how this person looks, sounds and behaves. Imagine you were a professional actor auditioning for this role: what speech mannerism? Facial expressions? Body language? Clothes, accessories for this character? Go out on stage- step into your role and act accordingly.
Focus- use an imaginary boundary that no distracting sound can penetrate such as a ‘cone of silence’ that you zip yourself in. Try a circle and dot. Your breathing is the dot and the present is the circle. If your thoughts wander out of the circle gently settle them back.
Intensity- refers to the amount of energy you are able to train on the object of your focus. Duration- is a measure of how long you can sustain that intensity.
Anger- allowing your energy to turn negative in the face of problems. Try to use anger to focus past distraction. Direct the anger at an obstacle or circumstance standing between you and your goal. Plant the anger in your center and use it to trigger the most appropriate and effective solution.
Visualization- Imagine that you have stepped inside the person per-forming the perfect routine and imagine that you are watching yourself on the screen. Act as if. Use physiology to model a master in the area where you want to achieve success. Set up blueprints through repetitious practice, performing the movement over and over until in becomes an automatic or conditioned reflex.
Balance- never being put off center, no matter how hard we are squeezed. Relaxing and letting life flow through us not standing apart an analyzing it. Because he believes in himself, he doesn't try to convince others. Because he is content with himself, he doesn't need others’ approval. Because he accepts himself, the whole world accepts him.
Going with the flow- this concept involves the concept of relaxed concentration that opens the way for peak performance. There is a feeling of total immersion in the present activity, with the body, mind and spirit united on the one experience. Peak performance can only happen when an exerciser stays in the present mentally by setting aside any concerns or worries during the exercise session. When a person is totally focused on the activity, all doubt about performing well is pushed away and he or she excels.
Stress- When a powerful stressor hits, ask yourself- What is the most intelligent response that is consistent with my deepest values and beliefs? Then summon your courage and warrior spirit to bring the response to life. it is not the exposure to stress that causes the undesirable changes in brain chemistry. It is the perception of helplessness. Best response- Never give up or surrender your spirit emotionally. Resist blaming others or exaggerating the hopelessness of the situation. Practice some of the other techniques mentioned here, such as the 5 breath relaxation technique.
Head cases- these people are at the mercy of their emotions. They simply follow the emotions of the moment without much discipline. This is where you can end up if you don’t learn and practice mental discipline.
Koroko- this is a martial arts term for indomitable spirit. Simply refusing to accept defeat. It goes beyond simply enduring a situation, to throwing your entire spirit into the effort of defeating the challenge. Make never giving up a habit that you practice daily.
Best wishes, Rick Sheridan Community college instructor http://MartialArtsClassics.com