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How positive thinking can turn you into a winner

Most sports coaches and psychologists know that athletes must have a positive mind-set if they wish to succeed. It is almost as important as physical ability and raw talent because if you lack belief then you will never reach full potential. How many times have you seen talented sports men and women fail at the last hurdle simply because they lost the ability to think like a winner?

Pressure is one of the main reasons why many favourites frequently fail to deliver. The pressure leads to negative thoughts of failure and once they become entrenched then the damage is done and the will to win has gone.

Most top and budding athletes have a natural self confidence in their own abilities but its keeping that self-confidence and focussing it into a winning mentality that offers the biggest challenge for sports coaches.

A couple of bad races, a poor game and even the best sports people start to doubt their own abilities. You can see it vividly illustrated in league tables across the Globe – once a team has had a few bad games they quickly lose confidence and slide down the table as a result – they are mentally beaten before the next game has even started.

Not everyone can be a winner all of the time which is why the best sports people include positivity and positive thinking as part of their training routines. It protects them when things do not go entirely to plan and helps them bounce back for the next challenge.

So how do you become a positive sports person in the first place? Before you can start to visualise yourself winning and succeeding then you have to first work on your own personality. If you are a complainer, if you have anger issues, if you are constantly critical of others – then it is going to be difficult to develop a positive mind set.

This can be a problem for many sports people who are passionate about what they do, but please do not confuse natural aggression, a key component in most sports when you are on the field with being a total arse when you are off it.

You also have to like yourself. Sports people who frequently doubt their abilities tend to magnify their weaknesses, even the way they look. These insecurities then show themselves in small ways on the field and once again can affect performance.

So firstly you have to tackle your own personal issues and come to terms with them before you can fully concentrate on developing a winning mentality. This can happen by replacing negative phrases with positive ones when you talk and think. Vow never to use them again – difficult to begin with but you will soon get the hang of it.

So let’s assume you have changed your personality a little then you are ready to become a real winner and this is the essence of Powerful Positive Thinking and why it should become a lifestyle choice for people who want to succeed.

Chances are that you do not have a clear mental image of what you want apart from being successful in your chosen field. You might of course be visualising yourself as a world champion – nothing wrong with that – but we need to take care of the smaller stuff to begin with.

So we need you to clarify your thoughts and the best way to do this is to actually write down what you want. You need to keep it realistic by concentrating on something that your sub conscious will readily accept.

I know you really want to be world champion but first of all there are other things you have to win before you work your way to the top – baby steps if you like – and if you do this then positive thinking will have more chance of succeeding for you.

Write down your next target because that is achievable, write down how you are going to win, visualise yourself winning and overcoming any obstacles, add targets such as a couple of seconds on your speed or whatever is right for your sport.

When you are happy that everything is good to go then I want you to destroy that piece of paper. You can shred it, burn it, tear it in little pieces, but destroy it you must - then you have to forget all about it. You have effectively delivered your order to the Great Amazon of the Universe and you must have faith that it will be safely delivered.

Don’t keep dwelling on those written goals but concentrate instead on the next component of powerful positive thinking which is action. Work with your coach to deliver those goals and you will be on your way.

It takes a bit of practice to begin with but as you succeed then start the process again – bit by bit – and then one day you will look in the mirror and will really see a world champion looking back.