Earlier this week I blogged about Dr. Kevin Elko and the impact he had on our program during an adverse period. I also posted the impact he had on Coach Nick Saban and the Alabama football team. The following comes from one of his books:
Some psychologists say that more than 75 percent of what we say to ourselves is negative. I am not simply trying to champion positive self-talk. Instead, I am trying to bring about an internal vocabulary of encouragement—phrases you say to yourself that keep you on the move and on-process. This type of “process focusing” is concrete and helps you get better. Do the steps and acknowledge the areas where you are enjoying yourself.
Words such as winning and goal—although good concepts indeed—are too abstract when trying to get to the doing—to taking effective action. Many times, athletes try to command their bodies to win, but their bodies are confused by the abstract terminology. Winning is not an action. Winning is an outcome of sustained effective action. However, when athletes command their bodies to perform a certain action, such as looking the ball into their hands, they succeed—they catch the ball. If they do that command enough—they catch the ball enough—they win!
Think these phrases, practice them, and say them out loud. (There are plenty more in the chapter at the end of the book.) if you let “discouragement language” get in your head and take over, you will abandon your process and surrender silently.
From "Touchdown!" by Kevin Elko