Wade Boggs’ pregame routine

What did one of the greatest baseball hitters of all time do before each game? Protex Sports has the answer. Here are Boggs’ secrets to becoming mentally ready each day.

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Imagery in sports

More from our friend, John Ellsworth of Protex Sports. This is a great exercise on the the usefulness of imagery in sports. You will read four, though-provoking questions and be given an assignment to help you in your athletic endeavors. Playing sports at any level is challenging. You can help yourself meet the challenge here.

More good stuff from Protex Sports

Here is another terrific post from our friend, John Ellsworth, of Protex Sports. He invites you to take his Mental Toughness Challenge #8: Confidence Building by Tracking Success. You can send John your request by filling out the “contact us” form at http://www.protexsports.com. He will then arrange time to talk with you on the phone and help you better understand the how mental toughness is built and how it can improve your performance. Take advantage of this great offer!

Four Strategies to Strengthen Composure

One our partners, John Ellsworth of Protex Sports has released a tremendous podcast designed to help athletes stay steady in pressure-packed situations. In this podcast you’ll learn the things that get in the way of your composure and four strategies to strengthen your composure. Listen here.

Read the February OnDeck Newsletters

If you didn’t have our latest issue of OnDeck delivered to your inbox, you can kill two birds with one stone by clicking here! Read the February editions with articles from Dan Gazaway, John Ellsworth, Adrian Parrish and more, and you can sign up to get all future OnDeck Newsletters via email, for free!

Beating Fear of Failure

By John Ellsworth

Fear of failure is one of the many mental obstacles which can impact athletic performance. It is characterized by the following:

An avoidance of risks. (E.g. plays conservatively, tries to protect score, etc.)
A strong concern about what others think about him/her or his or her performance. (E.g. makes assumptions about what others think, mind reading, etc.)
An avoidance of embarrassment (e.g. avoids mistakes by playing “safe”, fear of what will happen, etc.)

Whatever the symptoms may be, fear of failure ultimately causes athletes to hinder, rather than advance, their ability to succeed. While social approval is desired by all people, regardless of their athletic abilities, is should not be the driving force behind how an athlete performs especially in competition.

I challenge you to answer this question:
Do you compete for yourself, or do you compete for the approval of those in your athletic circle (e.g. coach, teammates, parents, audience, etc.)?

As you ponder the answer to the above question consider how you make decisions or what determines your reactions in your sport. Ask yourself: Do I feel that everyone is watching me when it is my turn? Do I fear how others will react if my performance is very good, or very poor? Do I have ideas or thoughts about what others may be thinking about me or my performance? Do I sometimes feel myself stiffen up when I am in a stressful situation in my sport?

If you have answered even one of the above questions with a “yes” then you likely have a strong fear of failure. While fearing failure is normal, you should begin to change your mind set. Instead of fearing what others may think, protecting your score or playing safe, recognize that there is no failure where you are trying to take your performance to the next level.

Give yourself the “right” to make a mistake. Don’t worry about what others may think or try to read their minds. Focus your energy on making the effort to let your brain trust in your body’s ability. Do this and you will establish a new approach to taking action toward improving your performance.

For more information about this article or for information on mental game coaching contact John R. Ellsworth – Mental Game Coach at Protex Sports, LLC. www.protexsports.com.

Protex Sports Foundation

A good friend and frequent OnDeck newsletter contributor, John Ellsworth of Protex Sports is paying it forward through his Protex Sports Foundation. The foundation assists athletes who are disadvantaged financially stay active in sports. Leagues and individuals are encouraged to make charitable donations to this extremely worthy cause.