By Dr. Jim Bauman//Special Contributor | Monday, October 19, 2015
In the three previous articles, we talked about the services and role of a sport psychologist in swimming, seven High Performance Strategies, and the first strategy (GAME/BATTLE PLANS.) This article will briefly describe the second strategy – PERSPECTIVE.
Perspective is your capacity, ability, and application of consistently understanding and viewing “things” in their true relationship with one another, their true relative importance in sport and in life, and then applying that view when you train, prepare to compete, and compete. How you view things will change over your sport career and are influenced by your physical/emotional/cognitive development and life experiences. Perspectives can be healthy and productive OR they can be healthy and counter-productive. When your perspective is healthy, it is the GLUE that holds you together when everything else suggests that you stop, quit, or otherwise “throw in the towel.” You have all, at some point in your life and/or your swimming career, been in situations where there was a choice to go forward, sideways, or backwards with your competitive and life challenges. When your perspective was healthy and productive, you worked and swam through those physical and mental challenges that you faced…you had GLUE! When you didn’t, you let the circumstances flood your perspective with doubt about all the physical and mental skills that you have developed over the years. In many situations, it wasn’t the other competitors who beat you…it was you.
Healthy perspectives are developed and maintained by regularly reviewing where you are in your sport and life development, documenting your progress, documenting your strengths, knowing what areas you still need to improve, and maintaining a SOLUTION ORIENTED attitude. Our school systems require math in our academic curriculum in every grade of school. Clearly we need to understand numbers, but the real lesson in math is to teach us different ways to solve problems. Life and sport are full of problems (challenges), but those who get ahead in both are those who look for solutions, rather than get stuck on the problems. Be growth minded and solution oriented.