Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Next Level...

Vision - In all your endeavours related to squash, do you know exactly what you want to achieve? It's been said "you can never come back from a place you've never been", which inspires the question "Can I go somewhere I can't imagine?"

Desire - Achievement is a product of a burning desire. Without a burning desire to achieve your vision, your goals become lost in the shuffle and you move further and further away as you begin to lose focus.

Faith - is not necessarily a religious faith but an overwhelming belief in yourself and what you're doing. Enduring countless failures, losses, setbacks, injuries and of course the inevitable nay sayers and still believing in yourself is true faith. If you think you can or you think you can't, then you are absolutely right.

Commitment - With vision, desire and faith, we must still be committed enough to do whatever it takes to achieve, regardless of how difficult it may appear to be.

Planning - stumbling blocks are the result of a lack of effective planning. Identifying short, medium and long term goals on the way to our vision will create our path, a map to success.

Persistence - when things seem at their worst, keep going. Be innovative and try something new, and if at first you don't succeed, try and then try again. Effort breeds momentum and its always that first push that is the hardest, but once things start rolling, you will be impossible to stop.

Learn from Mistakes - athletes in all sports make mistakes, and those who score the most winners/goals/baskets/home runs also have the highest rate of misses! So if you want more success have more failures. But consider a missed attempt, not as a failure, but as a result. If you learn from that result to improve your performance next time then it is a victory. "Success is the result of good judgement. Good judgement is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad judgement!"

Knowledge - Those who succeed in every field are often the most knowledgeable on that subject. Develop a love for learning about squash and relate seemingly unrelated areas to it. If you want to do well at squash, immerse your mind in it.

Mental Literacy - Literacy is the understanding of the alphabet to enable you to read and write and to communicate and understand ideas transmitted through that medium. Numeracy is the same but in the language of numbers. Mental Literacy is an understanding of how the mind works particularly in memory, creativity, learning and thinking skills. You can practice these skills and through understanding how the mind works, you can marshal your mental resources to improve your squash.

Imagination - utilise your imagination. to create your goals in your own mind first, apply yourself and watch it materialise before your eyes. Imagine yourself playing open level squash, believe it and do what ever it takes and you can play at the next level.

Positive Attitude - an optimistic attitude puts you in a state that enables you to achieve what you want more easily. Life may give you hard times but you will deal with them much better.

Auto-suggestion - Stack the odds in your favour and tell yourself that you are going to get the result that you want. If you tell yourself often enough you will begin to believe it and with that sort of faith anything is possible. Try it, it works.

Intuition - Have you ever felt that something was not quite right and then discovered things were not all they appeared to be. Or conversely did you ever just know that something was going to happen, however unlikely, and it did. Trust your instincts because more than likely they will be right.

Peer Pressure - How many times have your parents asked you not to hang around with a certain group of kids because they will be a bad influence? You are greatly affected by those that surround you, your peers and the select team of advisors and close associates who have a strong influence on your thinking. Whatever level you want to play at, surround yourself with those players.

Heroes - There is nothing to stop you from taking inspiration from people inaccessible to you. Use their positive influence to shape your future. Ask yourself what Jesus would do if he played squash?

Truth and Honesty - Lies need justification and soon the web of deceit is too much to handle. Rest easy in the knowledge that you are honest and don't weigh your mind down as you will lose focus on your goals.

Courage in the Face of Fear - Courage is not the absence of fear, it is taking action in spite of fear. Set sail and head into previously uncharted waters. Take a leap of faith to achieve great results.

Creativity and Flexibility - be creative and flexible in developing your squash. It is the results you want not the process you have to go through to get it. So if it doesn't work try something different.

Love of the Task - What would you rather do - play squash or get drunk? Whichever answer you gave (and there is nothing wrong with either) it is because you enjoyed doing one more than the other. If you are enthusiastic about something you will enjoy it more and you are more likely to be good at it. Remember why you play squash and do what you have to do and enjoy it. Start making excuses to go and play squash or train for squash. It's hard work but no one said that we can't enjoy everything that we do. The choice is yours.

Energy - With sufficient energy, you can do anything you put your mind to. Find what saps your energy (be it certain food, certain people etc) and remove that from your life. And conversely find what gives you energy and add that to your life.

Focus on any combination of these things to take yourself to the next level.

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