We have seen earlier that dreaming big can help you achieve great things. We have also seen that carrying your dreams and expectations into the playing arena can choke you and leave you frustrated. Confusing isn’t it? Not really. Let’s see what it all means, and how goals and dreams can help you achieve greatness.
It is very important for young sportspersons to remember that dreaming big and setting goals can help them progress and improve during practice. In fact, without expectations and dreams, practice can become monotonous and directionless. Every day, when preparing for a practice session, you should ask yourself, “HOW IS WHAT I AM DOING TODAY GOING TO HELP ME ACHIEVE MY GOALS?” Focus on your dreams and goals even as you set out to warm up for your practice sessions.
When you have goals and expectations for yourself, you are setting a higher standard of performance. You are internally demanding more of yourself. You are challenging yourself. Such high standards and challenges are necessary for you to take your training to the next level. It’s these inner demands that you place on yourself that will ultimately propel you forward towards your dream. In the end, the hope is that the demands that you place on yourself will make you a much better sportsperson as they move you towards personal excellence.
Just as dreaming big is vital to motivate you to excel in your chosen sport, so also it is important that you know exactly at which point to seal your dreams away in an envelope as you prepare for competition. As the big day arrives, and it could be any competition where you want to perform well, stop thinking about your goals or expectations at least 24 hours in advance. Tell yourself that you have worked hard enough on your skills, that you know exactly what it takes to perform well, and then R.E.L.A.X!
As you enter the playing arena either for warming up or for the event on D-day, enjoy the feeling of competing. If you focus on ‘winning’ during the event, you will tighten your muscles and of course, kill the fun and enjoyment that you get out of playing. STAY IN THE PRESENT; give it the best you have got! But stay loose and relaxed! Most top class sportsmen have their own methods of relaxing during an event. Some sing their favourite songs; others chew gum. Find your own method of staying cool and relaxed and trust your body.
Never, never go into a competition thinking, “I will score a hundred today” or “I’ll crush my opponent”. Such statements will only tighten you up and you will, more often than not, leave the field disappointed. That is why you have got to relax, leave your expectations in the locker room and play your guts out on the field. But you will be able to perform at your best only if you have set your goals, dreamed big, have practiced with a purpose and then sealed away your expectations on the big day.