I was recently asked to FaceTime with a 15-year-old girl who plays on the Juniors tennis tour. I’ll call her Alice. Alice was struggling with closing out matches. She would win the first set easily and then struggle during the second set if the score got to 2-2 or 3-3. Her mind started raising all these negative thoughts about her lack of ability and she would continually lose matches because of it.
We spoke for about 30 minutes when she explained to me all the pressure she was putting on herself to win. We talked about all the negative messages her mind was drumming up. Any athlete can tell you the same story and probably the same messages, it’s nothing new in the world of competitive sports. You can read about Rick Ankiel, a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and his case of the yips that landed him back down in the minors. Golfers, tennis players, footballers, etc., there is no athlete immune to the feeling that you are not good enough.
I offered Alice a few techniques including Heart-Focused Breathing™ and the Quick Coherence® Technique. These are 2 of the several techniques I am certified by HeartMath® to teach my clients. I walked her through these and within about 2 minutes she was feeling an increase in energy and “good vibes”. I also explained to her how the mind allows the ego to take over sometimes, but that it’s not always a bad thing! I feel like the ego gets a bad rap in the pop psychology world. Instead of trying to ignore it, it’s important to address it head-on sometimes. I explained to her a couple of ways of doing so.
I was pleased to hear about a week later that Alice was using the techniques I had taught her with success and ease. Go Alice!