Tight Mind Monday: Overcoming Mental Blocks Part 1 - The Body


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Doc Ali’s Tight Mind Monday: Overcoming Mental Blocks Part 1 - The Body

Mental blocks. They drive coaches, athletes, and parents crazy. In my 20 years of being a mental toughness coach, mental blocks is the issue causing the most stress in athletes, parents, and coaches alike! With that in mind, the next four Tight Mind Mondays will address mental blocks and what you can do to beat the block beast!

What do you need to do physically to work through mental blocks? We’ve talked before about how mental blocks are related to neural pathways in the brain. When you stop or balk, you physically feed a negative pathway keeping your mind stuck in a fear response. The more the fear happens, the stronger the pathway becomes. So the first step in beating a mental block is building up successful progressions and repetitions in your body building a neural pathway of success!  

Create a Confidence Ladder

Your Confidence Ladder helps build your neural pathway by anchoring successful progressions and repetitions in your brain so you are not feeding a stuck negative pathway. This can get very involved but here are the steps to create your Ladder that you can start using immediately.

1. Write out a ladder where every rung is a progression of the blocked skill. Each rung should help you increase confidence. The bottom of the ladder will be the easiest progressions moving toward the top with more difficulty. The top rung of the ladder is the desired goal.

2. Work the ladder doing five or more repetitions of each rung.

3. Use key words every time you do the skill. Even on the drills! Key words are the words you say in your head as your perform the skill. They can be corrections, or statements like “i can do this” which give you confidence. Your key words keep your mind tight and create muscle memory.

4. We don’t want to feed the balk beast! So, if you balk twice, back down and repeat five successful progressions on the previous rung.

5. Go fast! Standing too long before the skill can make the monkey mind go crazy! If you stand for more than five seconds, back down to the last successful progression and repeat that rung five times.

Work this ladder all week and build your confidence bank! Part two of this series will look at your mind and ways to use it to beat the block beast!