Coaching the Mental Game

We frequently think of the mental game in athletic terms – mental toughness, endurance, winning and the likes. If you watch a highly successful athlete before their game / competition, they’re often 100% dialed into the event before them. Sometimes, an athlete will even mentally go through the routine, for physically practicing what they will do for the event.
There’s a lot to be said for this mindset in our daily living. But the essential requirement for coaching our mental game is to have the right Coach. Bad coaching equals bad execution & outcomes. So who is your mental coach?
Let’s actively decide & allow the Holy Spirit to be our mental coach, setting our minds on the Holy Spirit & not stuff that would poison, distract or compromise our outcomes!

Do a Good Job

Having my kids home for summer break is wonderful & challenging. I certainly enjoy their company & they have super fun personalities. As their mom, I’m also responsible to help them grow into healthy, responsible & productive adults – or at least encourage their decisions to move in those directions. 

Funny thing about this parenting gig: seems like heaps of what I tell them needs to flourish in my life as well. I find that my parental coaching has lots of application in my life & maybe this whole parenting thing is God’s parental efficiency plan. I most certainly don’t want to parent from a place of hypocrisy so I’m pushing myself to do well & live up to the stuff that I want to see my kids exhibit 🙂

real time learning

I used to coach basketball & it was one of the most enjoyable things that I’ve ever experienced!  The girls I coached were totally AWESOME!  They worked really hard, wanted to excel and win, they were smart & totally committed.  Getting to coach these athletes was nothing less than a total privilege for me that I relish more than 20years later!  As I think about coaching, it reminds me about how Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our teacher, aka coach.  Here are some important things to think about with the Holy Spirit as our coach:

  • one of the best values of receiving coaching is real time learning – the Holy Spirit is ever present to coach us in our daily living
  • coaches see our potential when we’re mired in growing – the Holy Spirit knows how we are designed (our DNA) & knows the best ways to develop our potential
  • coaching happens with verbal communication, modeling & persistence – the Holy Spirit speaks with us, points us to Jesus as our example and never gives up on us
  • coaching has the best value with failure and defeat & the most enjoyment with success and victory – the Holy Spirit coaches us through failures and celebrates successes with us every day 🙂

gearing up

Whenever I go snowboarding, I’ve learned to check the weather forecast so I can be appropriately dressed.  If it’s snowing, it helps to wear water repellant gear.  If it’s cloudy, I try to remember to bring my flat light goggles.  While you may find this to be boring, the principle remains that we need to prepare in advance for things that we know could be challenging or difficult.  Sometimes if we know that we’re going to be in some tricky family situations (with Christmas around the corner), it helps to do some mental coaching ahead of time about the things we should or should not discuss.  It helps to coach ourselves about our attitudes and some of our thinking so that when we get in some potential hotspots, we have done some preparation work ahead of time to help us with our words, actions and attitudes.  Gear up my friends, in constructive ways, there could be some hotspots on the horizon in the next few weeks 🙂

what’s the right answer?

Lately I’ve been trying to coach my kids about how to properly respond when I ask them to do something. Instead of arguing with me, telling me why they can’t do something, why it’s not their fault, or the plethora of other answers (including the new family member I’ve yet to meet – Not Me Bowling), I’m trying to coach them to say, “yes mom” or “yes, dad”.
There are lots of great examples in the Bible on how to respond to God. Two of my favorites are:
Samuel: speak Lord, your servant is listening
Mary: let it be to me according to Your word
How we respond to the visible & tangible authorities in our lives can often reflect how we respond to God – just something for your consideration 🙂