Not Stressing Doesn’t Mean Unprepared
This Mental Monday Ben Askren talks about finding what makes you tick in order to achieve your highest potential. Askren’s first fight in the UFC on March 2nd was many people’s first time witnessing Askren compete. Most importantly, it was their first time seeing how Askren handles the build-up to competition. He is very loose and seemingly carefree. It’s easy for people to think this is a bad thing or that Askren isn’t taking the competition seriously and therefore won’t perform at his optimal level. On the contrary, he knows he performs best by not overthinking or stressing before a fight.
Admittedly, Askren says he can be obsessive if he allows himself to overthink. People perform poorly if they start obsessing over a match and thinking about things that don’t matter. They think about what other people around them will think of their performance. They also think about situations outside of their control. For example, these thoughts include worrying if the other fighter/wrestler has bigger muscles or has a good/bad record.
Find What Works for You
After four years of Mental Mondays, long time listeners know that there is only one thing that matters — execute on what you need to in order to win the competition. You have to figure out how to put yourself in the best frame of mind. For Askren, it is remaining relaxed and keeping calm. After you compete you should be evaluating not only the technical execution but also your mental state. Were you too nervous? Too loose or too wound up? If you’re looking at your best and worst match of the season, what outside factors contributed to your success and failures? After years of self-evaluation, create a baseline of what helps you perform at your best.
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