High performance thinking & self-coaching – Part 2

Posted on December 8, 2020 by

In the last article we discussed the mind trap that many people fall into; being focused on achieving the result, rather than being focused on the process of achieving the desired result.

It’s a subtle – but psychologically powerful – difference.

Read ‘High performance thinking & self-coaching – Part 1’

Poorly targeted attention – on winning, getting a podium, or the result – can lead to frustration and self-doubt. Whereas a focus on technical and tactical excellence can lead to consistent, high quality performances.

Essentially you need to remain “in the moment”, focused on doing what actually gets them the result they’re after. When they focus on technical and tactical excellence, the results will follow. It’s honing in on the process, not the outcome.

What also comes with a ‘process’ focus is massive self-confidence.

Let’s continue with our previous swimming example.

What would happen if you had to go out and swim in the national championships, which double as the Olympic trials, tomorrow, and were asked questions like:


“Do you think you will swim fast tomorrow?”

“Do you think you will get a podium tomorrow?”

“Do you think you will make the Olympic team tomorrow?”


Your realistic answer would probably be:


“I don’t know, but I hope so?”


In that scenario, where the focus of the questions is on the outcome – the results you’re after – then it’s realistic to say that your confidence would be low-to-moderate at best.


Now, let’s shift the focus of your attention and see what happens.

Picture the same scenario.

You have to go out and swim in the national championships tomorrow. However, this time you’re asked questions from a process, rather than an outcome perspective:


“When you race tomorrow, do you think that you can get your left hand closer to the centre?”

“When you race tomorrow, do you think that you can tuck tighter on your turns?”


And the answer is:


“Of course! I do that every day.”


It’s fair to say that in this scenario your confidence is moderate-to-high.

Notice what has happened here. It’s the same scenario, but a different focus of attention. The outcome focus led to a low to moderate level of self-confidence. However, the process focus led to a moderate-to-high level of self-confidence.


So, if you think that your performance self-confidence is not what it should be, you may want to investigate where your focus of attention lies.

What are you really concentrating on? What you want? Or what you need to do to get what you want?


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