Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Mental Game of Sports: Revisiting a Client Story

This story appeared in Chapter 15 of my book Educate Your Brain – “Brain Gym and Physical Activity.” Now it has a new addendum!

Lloyd enjoys fencing for both exercise and recreation, and he had advanced to where he had achieved national standing in his classification. Yet, despite his skill, he could never seem to win against his toughest opponents. He came for a balance session to address this significant obstacle. He said, “I’ll do great in competition, until I’m on the verge of actually winning my final matches. Then something pulls me back, and my opponent scores the last points.”

We talked a bit about this issue, and then Lloyd mused, “I think it all boils down to this: When I was young, the people who were considered ‘winners’ in my world were very unpleasant—actually, one in particular was quite merciless. I think I have a feeling deep inside that if I become a winner, I’ll end up that way as well.” Together we created a goal: “I retain my sense of integrity and still win.”

Lloyd’s pre-check for this balance was quite revealing. He chose to role- play the last moments of a fencing competition against a skilled competitor, pausing and strategically lunging forward again and again as if holding a fencing saber in his hand. He said, “I’m moving, but my brain is whispering in the background, ‘Don’t be too good!’ I can feel myself losing energy and focus.”

We continued with Lloyd’s balance, which included Dennison Laterality Repatterning and a few other Brain Gym activities. When these were complete, Lloyd felt much more at ease. After again role-playing the last moments of a competition, he said, “Wow—that was really different. There was no sabotaging voice in my head, and I could literally see my- self making point after point on my competitor.”

When I saw Lloyd a few weeks later, I asked how his fencing was going. He said, “I’m noticing a significant difference in focus and determination. I still haven’t won all my tournaments, but it’s not because of that little sabotaging voice in my head—that’s completely gone. I just need to hone my skill.” [1]

Here’s the new addendum to this story. Lloyd recently shared with me that he’d been paging through Educate Your Brain and came across his story there, six years after the fact. He said, “I was really amazed. I’d completely forgotten that this had ever been a problem. I’m still not winning all my matches, but it’s because I don’t have time to practice and train the way I’d like. That self-defeating pattern is no longer there. That old voice in my head is simply gone.“

When patterns are gone, they’re gone, and we are free to live our lives without those limiting conditions. We can feel so at home with our new state that we can forget that they ever existed.

And of course, this is true for more than sports. Perhaps that impulse is to "lose" in regard to your schooling, career, or relationships. It's possible to make this kind of change in regard to any aspect of life where you believe you're holding yourself back. 

Interested in learning more?

You could experience a private session with a Licensed Brain Gym® Instructor/Consultant in your area, or take a Brain Gym® 101 course to learn the basic tools for yourself. I’ve got two BG101 courses coming up, June and October, 2015, here in Phoenix, Arizona, if you live nearby or would like to visit. Click here for details!

My very best to you all,

[1] Brown, Kathy. Educate Your Brain. Phoenix: Balance Point Publishing, 2012. 165-166.  
Click here for a link to the website for Educate Your Brain
Copyright© 2015 by Kathy Brown. All rights reserved. 
Original article Copyright© 2012 by Kathy Brown. All rights reserved. 
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