Preparing for a game physically and mentally will only get you so far. What makes sports fun to play and watch is that the outcome is unpredictable! You never know what you might encounter on any given day of competition. Athletes are the most successful when they can adjust during a game to optimize their performance.

Reframing is an important tool to help you keep a mental edge during a game. This is a three-step process that ultimately takes the “glass half full” approach:

1.) Something disrupts your plans.

2.) You experience negative emotions, like disappointment, discouragement, or sadness.

3.) Rather than allowing that initial reaction to stick, you reframe and ask yourself how you can make something good come from it.

Instead of denying that something bad happened, try to find a way to make it a learning or growth opportunity. Turn reframing into a habit, and you’ll find great poise and ability to deal with adversity as an athlete and beyond.

The other tools suggested in this book excerpt include developing a self-control routine, utilizing transformational self-talk, and tips to preventing choking. The last page of this book excerpt includes a worksheet on Honing Your Mental Game. Plan to use the tools outlined here to reach your best performance in competitions, and utilize them for optimal game prep.

This PDF was excerpted from Jim Thompson’s book Elevating Your Game. To purchase the entire book, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.

These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive student-athlete workshops, click here.

This article is from Positive Coaching Alliance. To view the article on their website click here

Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) is a national non-profit in the United States developing “Better Athletes, Better People” through resources that help create a positive, character-building youth and high school sports experience. Founded by Jim Thompson in 1998 within the Stanford University Athletic Department, PCA serves youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes through live workshops, online training and books, as well as the PCA Development ZoneTM (, offering hundreds of free audio-video and printable resources that help improve youth sports.

In partnership with thousands of schools and local youth sports organizations nationwide, as well as many national youth sports organizations, PCA has conducted more than 13,000 live group workshops and impacted more than 6 million youth. PCA training and resources cultivate: The Double-Goal Coach®, who strives to win while also pursuing the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. The Second-Goal Parent®, who concentrates on life lessons, while letting coaches and athletes focus on competing.  The Triple-Impact Competitor®, who strives to impact sport on three levels by improving oneself, teammates and the game as a whole.

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