Decision Declaration

By Craig Sigl

I’ve worked with countless youth, college, and pro baseball players over the years and I am shocked at how few of them have taken advantage of a very simple, yet powerful mental tool to get their play to the next level.

Usually, they come to see me because they have problems…they are in a slump, or have the throwing yips, or just not playing to the talent and skills they know they have.
I often start out by asking them about the decisions they have made about their game. They usually answer something about deciding to play for this team or that team, or maybe deciding that they want to play a certain position.

Rarely do players make a powerful decision to achieve a goal they have in mind and that can be the real problem! Here’s what I mean:
You can have a goal, like playing at the next level of competition, and you “want” to achieve that goal…
But, DECIDING that you will achieve that goal is twice as powerful.
Let me explain…

Imagine 2 people on one side of a canyon with a rickety footbridge as the only way to get to the other side. Both of them “want” to get to the other side. The bridge looks risky and dangerous, but passable. They both pause and look at each other and then the first person makes a DECISION to cross. Who is more likely to get to the other side?

Pretty obvious, right? Now, let’s magnify this power.

The second person, 10 seconds later, makes a DECISION to cross and then tells the first person: “I’m going.”

Now who’s most likely to be the first one to the other side?

That’s the power of a DECLARATION!

You want to start making solid decisions and then declare them to yourself, and even better, to people who support you.

Goal setting is great and I encourage it. The way to increase your chances of actually making your goals reality is by coming to a solid decision and declaration that you are going to achieve them. You want to do this on goals that are do-able, but tough and something longer than a month or two out.

Here’s a couple examples of what this might be like:
“My goal is to start on Junior Varsity this year”
“My batting average is .350 or better by the end of this season.”
“I’ve decided my goal is to play soccer on a D1 college team.”

Without making a decision, you are operating at only half speed. You also leave yourself wide open to a destructive force called “procrastination.” This is where you keep putting things off or make up reasons why something else is more important to do now instead of your training or workouts.  Once you make a decision, your mental wheels will start turning and you will come up with a plan of attack. Your body will get antsy to take action. You will naturally want to do things like go down to the cages and work on your swing…or take some grounders at the field.  Your DECISION is like a match lighting a fire. A DECLARATION is like pouring gas on the fire.

A declaration has double benefits. When you do this, you trigger inside of you a strong internal program we all have to follow through on what we say we will do. And secondly, you will be amazed at how people around you support you in your goal because they now know how serious you are.

Check this out… when you do this…life actually gets easier …because you now have Direction and you don’t have to force yourself to practice or train any more. It all happens naturally! You become a powerhouse of action and that actually feels really good to do things on purpose like that on a daily basis.

You have it in you to do this.

So go ahead and make sure you DECIDE on something you want to achieve in sports this year. Write it down on a piece of paper. I like using 3×5 cards for this and I put them everywhere. Whenever you read it, stop for a moment and put some thought energy and emotion into it. This makes it solid in your nervous system and creates all sorts of amazing changes for players of all ages.

Even kids as young as 8 years old can take advantage of this.

Watch yourself over the next week and see how things start changing and lining up to help you reach your goals. Acknowledge the positive changes and you will keep getting more – I promise!

Craig Sigl’s work with youth athletes has been featured on NBC TV and ESPN. Get his free ebook: “The 10 Commandments For a Great Sports Parent” and also a free training and .mp3 guided visualization to help young athletes perform under pressure by visiting:
http://MentalToughnessTrainer.com

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