Why Do Football Players Paint Black Under Their Eyes Sport Psychology: The Zen of a Business Like Approach

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Sport Psychology: The Zen of a Business Like Approach

How do professionals stay so cool under pressure? What is the secret to approaching intense competition and training week after week, year after year? Undoubtedly, recreational players have a lot to learn from professional athletes, but many of these take home lessons, are more subtle, and have to deal with how professionals approach competition mentally. With a doctorate in sports science and a career coaching tennis at all levels of athletes, the author has some unique credentials to help answer these questions.

It’s easy to see that recreational individual sports players tend to be passionate and independent people. Sometimes very passionate! Those who approach individual sports, such as tennis, table tennis or racquetball, often treat the results of discrete points as too “black / white”. They show too much joy and too much frustration before the end of the competition. It’s nice to get a boost after a good shot or a key situation, but it’s often overused in a recreational game.

The only point that matters in individual sports is the last point. It is necessary to refer to other points within the framework of the process of “negotiation” of the competition. Searching for thousands of shades of gray between “black and white”, good and bad perspectives on performance, is practically practiced in the Zen of competition and the “Business Like” approach of professionals.

In poker, when a player shows body language or posture that says, “I don’t think I can win anymore,” it’s called a “Tell.” At the poker table, it turns into money. In individual sports, narratives help align the strategy of the observant players from point to point, perhaps for the rest of the game. For example, if you sense that your competitor’s view of the competition is becoming unstable or negative, unforced errors on your part can reverse this trend. A professional poker player is a great example of the right approach to one-on-one competition. Let’s see how the thought patterns progress during the game.

First, realize that almost every player comes out thinking they are going to win that day. In general, the players have the same physical abilities, but on that day one convinces the other that they will not win at some point in the tournament. Remember, sports psychologists say “only on the same day” because statistics show that it’s rare for one player to dominate the other in wins and losses.

If you’re not currently playing sports, you’re a recreational player and you have the “delight” to think you don’t stand a chance against a particular person. A pro can’t think like that because most play for food and expenses. Some professional athletes may not start out competing like a business, but they quickly learn or receive advice to make these adjustments.

A “business-like” approach also includes respecting the capabilities of all competitors in several ways. First, your opponent’s advantage or just your effort is responsible for your improvement. The more they play, the more you have to win. It’s a fact of human psychology that losing is more motivating for your practice effort, therefore getting better, than winning.

Second, it is important to resist the temptation to find excuses for your losses, in a “business-like” approach. Remember that almost everyone comes to competition in some form or another physically “changed”. Players feel very little. Therefore, it shows strength of character to accept another defeat from an imperfect but worthy opponent without excuses. This is Zen acceptance of the nature of competition. It takes mental practice to pull yourself out of the way.

Again, if you lose even one point, DO always give credit to your opponent for playing a part in it. Tennis students often ask, “But isn’t my double fault their responsibility?” The answer is actually that it is. Their presence puts competitive pressure on your service. In football, they now count what they call “Pressures”. It’s the realization that the quarterback sensed the impersonator approaching that confused him. The same is true in individual sports.

The ultimate tribute to one’s opponent is a central tenant of the martial art, exemplified by the training of the monks of the Shaolin Temple. For thousands of years, great honor has been given to the opponent who represents our internal struggle. This is the Zen of war.

Professionals also know that giving credit to your competitor will reduce the pressure on your business. Self-promotion, an aggressive display of self-fulfillment, essentially makes the competition two players against no one! The business approach is to make your opponent play great to win as soon as possible. If they can do that, they deserve to win.

It’s also “businesslike” to treat your opponent as another witness to see how the drama unfolds in just this game. In other words, “short memory” allows you to put past results where they belong so they don’t affect future events. Can you do this for the next point and the next?

Between points is time to plan strategy, evaluate your opponent, how your opponent is playing/feeling, what trends and how you should build the next point, but to avoid generalizing about how you played that day If you want to do it, you need to practice. most of the time your opponent has beaten you. Zen is to simply notice these negative thoughts and let them pass. With practice they will diminish, just as distracting thoughts diminish as meditation becomes more skillful.

The truth is that human performance between two closely related talents in a complex sport is really “splashed” like a modern artist throwing paint onto a canvas. It varies like a kaleidoscope every day and is just a predictable trend. This perspective will help you not underestimate your own performance, become a better competitor, and appreciate your good fortune in having such fun. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity to “play” is also Zen.

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