The great champions in sports, business and life have one thing in common. They adjust. When the conditions, circumstances and situations change, the champion achieves a psychological boost by adapting and adjusting. This process occurs swiftly without much conscious thought. How do they know what to do? How do they know how to do it? How do they know when to do it?
Here is a proven, concrete list for masterful adjusting. Practice the ones that fit your sport, business or life. Be prepared to adjust.
1. Be cool in a crisis. Champions are calm and cool when things don't go their way. They can withstand an opponent's great play without panic, fear and doubt. There is no time to complain as a victim of the changing circumstance, condition or situation. Unhinge your jaw. Breathe slowly, deliberately and calmly with long inhales and exhales.
2. Re-boot your brain. Sometimes you need to turn your brain off. Too much thought can cause easy mistakes when the pressure mounts. This takes no more than 90-seconds and it's perfect for the change-over in tennis. Less is more.
3. Keep your style. Champions rarely abandon their style of performance. They stick with their strengths even when the performance has taken a negative turn. Adjust your style of play, but never abandon it.
4. Change your behavior.Adjusting from aggressive to passive and vice versa will be a master tool in most situations. Slow down the pace or pick it up. Lift your head up from a defeated, negative, lower head position. Sometimes a simple laugh, smile or physical skip can trigger a reversal of fortune. Within 90-seconds of confronting a challenge, your mental and physical behavior needs to adapt.
5. Approach the goal in a different way. Re-structure the situation by shifting tactics in getting the job done. In golf, if you're struggling to hit your driver accurately, switch to a 3-wood. If your jump shot in basketball is off, start driving to the hole. If you're missing your first serve in tennis, hit hard second serves for your first serve until your confidence is resurrected. Most champions are armed with 2-3 tactics prior to an event. These tactics have been practiced and are ready to be deployed at a seconds notice.
6. Look for opponent's weakness. It's not always about you. Sometimes you need to be patient in finding a weakness in your opponent.
Helping your opponent lose may be the best way to win.
Maintain a high performance standard while gathering information on your opponent. When you observe their weak link, adjust your energy to their vulnerability.
7. Keep your energy directed outward. Even though reality is not matching your expectation, keep your energy on your strategy and tactics. Once you start thinking about your game, technique, fatigue or other factors, the Zone will abandon you and your opponent's odds of defeating you will rise.
8. Use positive "I statements." "I am accurate." "I have rhythm." These internal, mental statements are directed to the challenge at hand.
9. Play your heart song. Many champions have reversed their losing ways by mentally playing their "heart song." Once this rhythmical music flows as a backdrop to the performance, it can easily trigger a Zone state of peak performance. Prepare this song before the event. Sometimes you just need to play your heart song to get your rhythm back.
10. Think ONLY about what you want. Sometimes when you're challenged, it's easy to think about what you DON'T want. "I'm so tired." "My putting stinks!" "What's wrong with my serve?" Champions only think about what they want in tough times. Be aware of what you're thinking about. This adjustment from negative to positive might be all you need to get the job done.
11. Keep the desired result in mind at all times. By keeping the endgame in mind, it will assist your intuition in fully engaging. It will also keep you motivated and inspired, especially when under duress. This mindset will also be broadcasted mentally, physically and intuitively to your opponent. This may trigger them to try harder which can influence their ability to choke and lose to you.
When you embrace the fact that change is an absolute, the process of performing accurately and decisively will take hold.
Be prepared to change.
Competitive events can be stressful. You know this. These times can easily block reason and common sense. Are you prepared to swiftly change your mood and mannerisms to match the volatile changes that can happen? Will you adapt? Will you adjust?
When you are fully engaged in the moment with an end result in mind, your intuition will give you the swift solutions and answers. Practicing these potential adjustments will give you a greater chance of responding under pressure.
Adjust when things aren't going your way. Do it. Do it swiftly. Adjust. Get back in the Zone!
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