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Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Power of Positive Thinking

WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS. THEY BECOME WORDS.
WATCH YOUR WORDS. THEY BECOME ACTIONS.
WATCH YOUR ACTIONS. THEY BECOME HABITS.
WATCH YOUR HABITS. THEY BECOME CHARACTER.
WATCH YOUR CHARACTER, FOR IT BECOMES YOUR DESTINY.


I was giving a private volleyball lesson today to one of the most talented girls that I coach. She is a coach's dream- as for every minute of the hour that she spends with me, she gives me 100%. She is highly skilled, and highly motivated. She is the kind of player that could pick up a volleyball in the kitchen and play with it for hours, without needing a court or a net. She reminds me of my sister in that way- she is a pure gym rat. Today, we worked out and she was not performing at her best. I was not upset, but she was visibly worried about her playing. She had had a rough practice the previous week with her club coach and that was the last time she had touched a volleyball.

Every time she touched the volleyball, she was thinking back to that not-so-perfect practice, and I can tell she was wearing herself down. Finally, she broke down into tears and I was taken aback- purely because I didn't even think she was playing poorly. She has such high expectations for herself, coupled with the fact that she had a rough practice the week before, that it was making her feel really bad. And, I was at a loss of what to say. We took a water break and I had sometime to gather my thoughts.

Basically, I told her that I appreciate the type of player she is and how much effort and positive energy that she gives at each practice. I also told her that she needs to be very careful of the negative self talk she was generating, as it was definitely affecting her playing. It is true that you have to give yourself 10 positive comments just to erase 1 negative one. I explained to her the amazing connection between your "head and your body" and that if she wanted to start doing better and having fun, that she would need to not let any bad play linger in her head. We waited a bit, drank some more water, and then returned. The last half of practice was better and we ended on a high note.

As I sit her tonight, the quote that I list above came to mind. It is a nice reminder of how much your mental thoughts can determine your physical well being. Sounds very obvious, but most of us underestimate the power of positive thinking- not to mention overestimate the stress and negativity in our lives (which cripples us physically in ways of fatigue, overeating, or sickness). Next time you find yourself in a rut or a bad mood, snap out of it. Find your "happy place" and get ready to positively generate your own success simply by thinking you can and believing in yourself.

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Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
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