Setting our athletes up for victory is not as simple as having the newest workouts straight from the bleeding edge of research and science or having top of the line therapy options. It starts much closer to the athlete. How many times have we witnessed our athletes having body language during a workout that shows stress, fatigue, and a lack of confidence? It might be the hell tempo day that causes legs to burn just from thinking about it or it might be that the athlete has just struggled on an exam and is feeling defeated, but the tell-tale signs are there: shoulders slumped, avoiding eye contact, and giving a half-hearted attempt at a warm up.
Amy Cuddy recently gave a wonderful speech that is available from the TED Conference about body language and how it shapes who you are. The research she has done is very interesting, especially when it comes to hormone changes after spending time in a “high power position compared to a “low power” position. In short, those who fake being alpha have a hormonal response that increases testosterone and decreases cortisol. She then goes on to explain the long term benefits of faking it until you make it as well, but my main point is that there is a significant benefit to faking confidence. The video is short, only 20 minutes, but the carry over to athletics is apparent so I highly suggest watching it. Whether or not you are in a team setting or if you train solo, how you carry yourself in to the workout is going to have a direct impact on the outcome of the workout.
For those of you who haven’t yet discovered the wonderful repository of life changing information that is the TED talks, I implore you to spend an hour or two exploring them.
I’d like to thank Mike for giving me the opportunity to blog here on ET. Being a member here for the last 9 years has impacted me significantly in not only athletics and coaching, but in life as well.