Tight Mind Monday: Overcoming Mental Blocks Part 2 - The Mind


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Doc Ali’s Tight Mind Monday: Overcoming Mental Blocks Part 2: The Mind

In our first segment of this four part series, we looked at the body and how to create a confidence ladder. This ladder is made up of progressions and repetitions helping to change a stuck neural pathway contributing to your fear or block. In this segment, we will explore way to lock down the mind so it stays busy and out of the way. When the mind is occupied, your body can better perform the skill that it knows how to perform!

You might not even be aware that negative thoughts are happening. It may just feel as though there is an unbreakable wall behind you or you’ve forgotten how to do the skill. Never the less, we still want that monkey-mind busy and behaving. We will do this through Mental Choreography or MC. MC are words that you say inside your head (or sometimes out loud) that keep your mind on track. You want to say these words every time you perform the skill or drill.

Here are some examples of MC for you to try:

1. Technical Statements or corrections: usually one word corrections of what you want to bethinking about on the blocked skill or drill.  Examples include:  “tight”, “squeeze”, or “lean”.

2. Confidence Statements: Saying things like “I can do it”, or “I’ve done this a million times”.

3. Repetitive Statements: Repeating something over and over again inside your head like “toes” or “go”!

4. Counting or Naming the skill: Some people like to count before the skill or during the skill for rhythm. Others like to simply say the name of the skill as they are doing it.

5. Distraction: This can be anything from singing at the top of your lungs, or repeating the alphabet backwards, to thinking about your favorite place or saying your seasonal goal over and over. 

Try one of these techniques this week with your confidence ladder. Or mix them up and put some of different categories together. Whatever seems to work for you! Segment three will look at ways to use the breath and goal motivation to push through this block. Keep working it!

Alison Arnold Ph.D. has been a mental toughness consultant to USA Gymnastics since 1997. If you have questions or want more information about her work go to www.headgamesworld.com