Archive for the ‘1-Sports Psychology’ Category

The True Master

Posted: January 18, 2011 in 1-Sports Psychology

A way of measuring our success is by helping others become successful.

  • When an employee makes their boss look good, they will usually find dynamic progress upward.
  • A helper (doctor, therapist) gains recognition by having saved many lives or improved health in many patients.
  • A coach becomes popular when they are producing top-performing athletes.
  • A leader is revered when they help inject leadership into others.
  • When a teacher / researcher’s knowledge base is surpassed by their students, they are said to have instilled great favour upon their students.

The old adage:

“A True Master is one whose student becomes better than they”

is indeed correct!

Performers always need to raise the bar.  They need help doing so and a good coach/leader will help them to do that – even if it means that the performer will out-perform the leader at some point in the game.


It is necessary to have “out-performance” on a regular basis, otherwise levels and standards would never change.  The same old rate of production would remain and nothing new would challenge it.

The world is ever-changing and so are the people in it.  You and I will always fall somewhere on the comparison continuum as better in some things, worse in others, superior in skill to some, inferior in skill to others.  Also, those who we surpassed will maybe one day surpass us.

The Comparison Continuum

Life has a start and an end.  It’s a continuum.    The teacher/student relationship also falls within a continuum

These are measurements…let’s use whole numbers just to express this point.


We are either lower or higher in measurement…and this changes constantly around things, and between people.

Brand New (rookie)–Learning–Improving–Highly Performing–Excelling–Surpassing……..

Ponder this further.  Think about what it means to you.  Are you a leader being surpassed by your followers?  A coach whose skill is being surpassed by his/her athletes?  A teacher whose student is about to make the next big wave in the world and be far away and long gone?

Let’s hope so!!!!


The next time a fellow competitor yells a scathing insult at you, be sure to thank them.

They are actually doing you a favour – in fact, their insult is beneficial to you in THREE ways!!


BENEFIT #1:   People have all sorts of reasons to be angry, frustrated, emotional, or irrational.  It is never appropriate to behave unpleasantly towards others, but it happens.  Benefit #1 is a REMINDER to you that not everyone out there competing is ‘sportsmanlike’ or ‘sportswomanlike’, and not everyone behaves appropriately, or pleasantly.  In life, in our own little bubble, the perfect world we try to make for ourselves, we tend to forget that there are nasty, rude, angry, and ill-behaved people out there.  A good reminder is always helpful…!!


Because it keeps us from living too much in our bubble and becoming ‘soft’.  It keeps us on our toes, reminding us that there are always tough challenges out there.  Nothing like a little boost of mental toughness in the form of an attack from an outsider!



BENEFIT #2:   That insult got under your skin.  Made the veins in your neck pop out, made your face turn red.  But rather than muster up the perfect response to the person who yelled stupid things at you, and rather than focus on how to respond or react – you should take this externally created energy and apply it to your riding, swimming, running, or whatever you are doing at the time.

Look at this as a gift!  You now have a huge burst of strong energy in you- and it can be channelled wherever you’d like it to go.  Might as well speed up your stride, or pack on more power…

Yes, the best benefit is that you can now use that energy that is welling up in you, not to REACT to the attacker, but to ENHANCE your performance at the moment.  This is energy that you didn’t have to dig up, you didn’t have to eat an extra power bar to obtain, you didn’t have to take a rest to get.  This is bonus energy.  Use it wisely!  Run/swim/bike faster and pass the insulting offender EVEN FASTER!!  Heheheheheh!



BENEFIT #3:  It never hurts to work on your own behaviour, comportment, finesse.  Work on your patience at every chance you get.  Work on your drive, focus, concentration, and distraction-control every moment that presents itself.  If you are yelled at by an insulting competitor, here is an OPPORTUNITY to PRACTISE that strong, resistant dignity and focus.  It helps you to perfect your own qualities.  Use that insult to your advantage.

For example, when I play golf, I welcome every opportunity to play a sand shot.  It’s a difficult shot to play, and generally, we never get quite enough time to practise it well.  So when my ball rolls into a bunker during a game, I don’t get upset and anxious.  I am grateful and welcome this chance to practise my sand-shots.  I look forward to it.   I am happy when it happens.

So the next time someone yells at you during a race, remember to thank them!  Narrow into yourself and transfer your anger and shock into new energy to fuel your race…be grateful that you are one of the ones who behaves well and that there are tons of people out there who don’t (for whatever reason – and the amount of compassion you feel is up to you), and remember that you are only able to perfect your toughness and other qualities when you have a challenge and an opportunity to do so.

Looking forward to more challenges and opportunities!

Please take part in my research about how to best help cyclists with their fears of descents!
All answers are confidential!

Click HERE for Cyclists’ Fear of Descents Online Survey!

This applies to all athletes. Learn from this…

When you walk in the ring/competition area ready for your performance, think to yourself: “this is MY ring” or “this is MY competition area”. Everyone should notice you. Everyone should listen to you. Everyone should pay attention to you.

You project energy – you rule the ring/competition area.

Your eyes are actually situated at the back of your head, looking forward and back. See all…don’t close your focus.

Project your energy from between your eyes.

Your spine/belly should feel as if they house the eye that sees all.

Keep your eyes straight.

Get ready by ‘panting like a dog’, quietly – not loud – and be less heavy on your feet. Be ready to move.

Don’t spend time looking at your opponent’s or other aggressive move, then judging what to do, and then reacting with action. This wastes too much of your time and focus.

Just look and or whatever action you are about to do.

If your opponent moves in towards you, your reflex should be only a breath and a” kiop” (loud noise uttered). No need to react with a move.

Have all of the joints in your body follow one another, one by one, to transfer power. Make sure to punch to the centre. There you inflict the most power.

Always change the rhythm of your moves toward your opponent.

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There is no shame in getting help if you believe it will enhance your life and the lives of others around you. Here is a great story about NBA player Ron Artest – enjoy the article and video clip!!

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