Sports Mindset Gameplan Interview

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Here are some excerpts from SPINw’s Brian Baxter’s interview with About.com…

I was told years and years ago that skateboarding is 90 percent mental. It sounds like you guys have something of a similar outlook! Just how important IS the mental and psychological piece when it comes to skating?

In sports, the mental game becomes more and more important the older the athlete becomes, and the higher the level they have achieved. I see no difference for skaters. You want to approach each run, each practice, each competition with strong confidence and sharp focus. Improving the mental game is all about identifying what factors distract you from this. For most athletes it’s pressure, nerves, anxiety, stress or basically fear: fear of failing (“What if I’m not good enough”), fear of making a mistake (“What if everyone laughs at me?”), fear of getting hurt (“What if I fall and get injured?”), or sometimes even fear of success (“If I succeed, I’ll be expected to succeed even more next time.”) Once these factors are identified, it is important to have strategies in place to alleviate the pressure, and just focus on the task at hand.

In a nutshell, what IS the “Sports Mindset Gameplan”?

The Sports Mindset Gameplan is a workbook for athletes to help build and maintain confidence. The athletes goes through the book, answering questions and completing action steps to personalize the mental game to their specific situation. They will learn strategies to improve focus, relax, motivate, and cultivate a positive mindset, among others.

You say that going through the workbook personalizes the athlete’s psychology techniques – can you give me some examples of how this works?

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