Welcome to Mental Mondays! Each Monday, we will be sharing a post from Gad Espinosa—a Certified High-Performance mental game coach. Enjoy the first post!
I am thrilled to be able to contribute to this community where our goal is to provide our children with the best opportunity to succeed. I’m hoping that my experience as a former professional athlete, parent of young athletes and Mental Game Performance Coach will allow me to provide some helpful information to you.
For my first post, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss where it all starts with successful athletes and that is a goal, a vision, a dream. It’s not just any goal it’s about having a very clear goal!
Why is having a clear goal crucial for your player’s success?
After working with 100’s of players over the years and through my personal experience, I’ve noticed that those that have clearer goals are the ones that tend to succeed more often.
The reason for this is that a clear goal is a catalyst for athletes. It motivates and inspires them to overcome the different challenges they will face along the way. The more powerful a goal the more likely an athlete is to persevere and push through the roadblocks.
The challenge is even the most motivated athletes when I ask them about their goal, are very vague at best. They say things like; I want to be a professional, obtain an NCAA Div 1 scholarship, represent my country at a World Championship or Olympic games, etc.
Now, these are all great starting points but not nearly as specific or clear as they need to be to really empower the athlete in them, to higher levels of resiliency and achievement.
Here’s an example. When I was 11 years old I was watching the 1982 World Cup final between Italy and Germany. I remember that game as if it happen yesterday. The reason is Italian player Marco Tardelli scored a goal in which he celebrated by literally crying on the field waving his arms and throwing himself on the ground (I get goosebumps to this day retelling that story). Italy soon after celebrated winning the World Cup. That day and for a number of days, if not weeks I couldn’t sleep thinking about what I had just witnessed.
You see up then I had a goal, I thought, or hoped might be a more accurate way to describe it, of one day being a professional soccer player. However, after witnessing that game my goal(s) became much clearer. I wanted to be a professional soccer player that ……
- Represented his country at the World Cup level with my favorite #10 jersey and my last name on the back.
- Who scored the world cup winning goal and celebrated just like Marco Tardelli did as the fans chanted my name.
- And eventually, be known as the best soccer player ever!
This clear and lofty goal was imprinted in my mind from that day forward and served as a catalyst for me to push through the many obstacles that came my way. I connected with my future me in powerful ways that made it seem real and therefore obtainable.
So get your young athlete to take a few minutes to write out their goal and then work with them to fine tune it and outline specific details to make it more powerful. A good guide for this is to include as many senses (Sight, Sound, Touch, Smell, Taste) in this exercise as possible. The mind likes detail!
Once you have this, your athlete should have this goal nearby so they can read it on a daily basis so it becomes ingrained and a part of them. It becomes a success thinking pattern in their brain that’s used over and over again by their subconscious mind to help them achieve their goal!
PS. This goal can change over time, there is no harm in this but no matter the goal, the more specific it is, the more powerful a weapon it becomes in an athlete’s journey to achieving the full potential.
There you have it, the power of a clearly outlined goal. Have a great day everyone!
- Coach Gad
Gad Espinosa is a Certified High-Performance Mental Game coach, speaker, soon to be an author who has been interviewed in numerous newspapers and radio shows. He also is the co-host of “The Mental Game’ radio show heard Saturday mornings (930am) on TSN1150am.
He has been privileged to train and mentor athletes at all levels, from those just starting their athletic careers to others who have gone on to represent their country and succeed at World Championships and Olympic games.
As a former professional athlete, who has represented his country internationally, he knows first hand the psychological and emotional challenges a young athlete faces and as a parent of two former competitive athletes, he knows the difficulty of raising athletes.
Gad is passionate about helping young athletes discover mental strength breakthroughs that allow them to maximize their development so they can take their game to another level and fulfill their athletic potential.