• Have you ever watched a tennis match, or any other competitive sport for that matter, and noticed how the players seem to be talking to themselves? Some get really intense and just go off on themselves with a burst of emotions. If you read their lips you can pretty much figure out what they’re saying.  They lose their temper and pretty soon everything starts to fall apart.

    Others, on the other hand, appear to be having a casual conversation and mumbling to themselves. This is the healthy form of self-talk using words of motivation and encouragement to get themselves “pumped.” So, what is the positive self-talk all about and how does it help them keep their head in the game? I’ve compiled a list of positive phrases used by athletes from different disciplines, who are at the top of their game and know how to stay focused under immense pressure. Below are some of the things they say, sometimes in a repetitive cycle, which you can use to enhance your game, be it on the court or in the carpool lane. Whether you mumble the phrases to yourselves or just keep them in mind is entirely up to you, depending on how self-conscious you are and whether  you care if people look at you like you’re a lunatic or not.

    1. You can do this!
    2. Take a deep breath and be patient!
    3. Nice job!
    4. Every shot counts!
    5. Focus on here and now!
    6. You’re unstoppable!
    7. Don’t worry about him/her!
    8. You’ll get the next one!
    9. You’re lucky to be here!
    10. Here comes your second wind!

    The cool thing is that positive self-talk doesn’t just work for sports. Staying positive enhances your relationships, finances, career and any every other aspect of your life. I know, it’s easier said than done, but the bottom line is that positive thinking leads to positive results. It works on so many different levels. Other than the simplicity of eliminating, it also works as a distraction for your mind. You’re essentially forcing your thoughts to stay positive, which allows your body to perform and correct itself by learning from your mistakes. Your body intuitively knows what it needs to do and will make the appropriate adjustments to be successful. So you don’t have to tell it, “Hit the ball dummy!” Trust me, it knows! I see the difference in my performance, when I go off on myself and expect negative outcomes versus when I believe that I will do well. It certainly doesn’t help your game to bash yourself and unfortunately we already have plenty of negative people out there. So, do your part to set yourself up for success by using positive self-talk. By repeating it, you’ll eventually force your mind to believe it!