Greetings from Japan everyone!
I was playing in a basketball tournament in Matsue, Japan last week and had some moments where I was happy with how I played while other times I was frustrated. In considering the problem with my play it really comes down to lack of practice. With my heavy travel schedule over the years I just don’t get to practice enough and when I do I really just play rather than working on specific aspects of my game. Good players practice specific skills until they become automatic so they can do them without thinking in game situations. Often I think, hesitate or make mental errors during games and that is my greatest weakness in basketball and the main reason for my inconsistent play. The same is true for all of us in various areas of our lives.
If you want to be successful at anything in life there are certain behaviours that need to be automatic. These are habits that would help you react in more beneficial ways no matter the level of stress around you. In order to make these behaviours automatic, you need practice but some of these behaviours are hard to practice because you can’t always create the situation that allows you to practice. In coaching, we sometimes do role-playing exercises to help identify the behaviours that are a weakness for a person but you probably have done the same in your own mind. Many people play situations that they didn’t like in their minds again and again but do nothing with their observations other than get upset or complain about the other people involved. Instead, you could play the scenario through in your mind and imagine yourself reacting in a way that gets you the result that you want. This can help you build confidence and internalise the behaviour so that it is automatic in a future situation.
Any change that you want in your life usually requires new habits or an adjustment to your current behaviours. The first step is always to identify what behaviours you want to develop or change. The next step is to practice these mentally to prepare yourself. If you have the opportunity you can role play with a coach or someone who can give you constructive feedback. Finally, begin to put yourself in real life situations that help you apply what you have learned. Working on yourself this way can improve your relationships, your work or any area that you want to improve and grow in. You will be able to engage in situations that you used to avoid and reduce the stress in your life. So what new habits do you need for success and happiness?