Saturday, February 18, 2012
Yoda and Trying
Yoda, or shall I say George Lucas, has simplicity taught a mindset of perseverance and commitment in one phrase that coaches search their entire careers to teach. Coaches dream of athletes who just commit without a fear of "failure or mistakes."
Since I've been working at Brain Highways, I've had the opportunity to learn how the brain connects, becomes more efficient, and creates maps. One thing that Brain Highways teaches to their champions is that the words failure and mistake don't really exist. If you think about what happens in the brain when a so called 'mistake' happens, you wrap myelin and create highways one way or another. It's up to you to decide how the myelin or highways are connected. From that point on, I had a massive paradigm shift in my thoughts regarding how the brain and skill can improve. When I think about this concept,Yoda immediately popped in my head.
This past month I've been also critical of any filler words that I use when coaching. Check out a recent post about my struggles with the word "good." I recently picked up on how I say the word try. I immediately thought of that funny looking bald man with big ears. When I say something simple as "let's just try it," it seems positive and harmless. However, saying "try" gives permission for athlete to perform without a deliberate practice mindset. There is no focus or areas in which to be mindful. There is no awareness instead just an overall sense of "try."
When your in a training session there should always be purpose. There should be something you are consistently trying to improve. "Trying" just leads to people becoming general practitioners, wasting their time at a broad concept. It also allows for your brain to find reasons that it didn't work out as you envisioned. The connection you make in your brain never is solidified when you have a "try it," mindset. I now allow my athletes to give me 20 push ups if I use the word 'try.'
Throw out "try" from your vocabulary. Instead make a decision whether or not you're going to do it. Substitute the actual verb your are going to accomplish. Maybe Hollywood can teach us something after all....