How To Maximize Performance With Less Effort!
by Edward O'Keefe
"I need to try harder!"
"I need more repetitions!"
"I need to spend more time on the court returning serves, working on my
This is what I hear from most tennis players trying to improve their
performance. It's not a bad theory if you aren't putting in the time in the
gym lifting weights, on the court getting your repetitions, or working on
technique, but if you are, spending more time may actually hurt your game
When you are relaxed and feeling good about your game and your ability,
you perform better. In other words, when your emotion is one of confidence
and certainty about your ability, the end result will be better. If you are
over stressed, over anxious, angry, or too nervous, your end result will be
much worse, and during these times, trying harder just makes you get more
stressed, more anxious, and more frustrated. Which then tenses up your
muscles, makes you think too much, has you focus on what you are doing
wrong, which just makes you do worse, and then the whole cycle starts again.
This is how a person can start off doing really good, have one bad shot and
then start focusing on what they did wrong, and "try" to make it better by
trying harder, rather than just letting things flow.
Here are 3 Master Keys to enter the Zone and create the Peak Performance
- Your Physiology: your physiology is how you use your body. How you
breathe. How you move. Whether you are moving fast or slow...
Where your shoulders are at -- are they shrugged or are they back?
Where your head is at -- is it up or down?
Your physiology is the fastest way to change your emotions and the structure
of you focus! In other words, remember how you move when you are having an
outstanding day, and walk, breathe, and move the same way you did then. Your brain will fire off the same messages you had the day when
you were unstoppable. Also, you can walk around like one of the pros who is
confident, and notice what it is like to move like him or her for the day.
Remember, confidence is a skill that you work on, not a trait that you
either have or don't have.
- The second way to master your focus is through your language, otherwise
known as your self talk. What you say to yourself and how you say it will
determine how you feel and where your brain focuses.
Use phrases like:
I can do this (fill in the blank).
I will anticipate my opponent's shots today.
I am returning & serving with power today.
I get better as I go, and I adjust and learn from all of my
Point #2 about your language: never, ever tell your mind what it
is that you "don't" want to happen. For example, if you say, "I don't want to
serve it out," "I don't want to shank this," or "I don't want to have a poor
match today" then your brain goes right to that thought, and that is what you
just programmed your mind to do.
Instead of using "don't," replace it with what you'd like to happen. Try saying things to yourself like "I
will hit it aggressively down the line," "I am seeing the ball with ease
today," "I am serving it with power," or "I will have my best match today!"
- The third way to master your focus is through the process of
visualization. Now, this is where I begin to teach you "How to Maximize your
Performance with less Effort!" This is probably the most effective way to
pre-program your mind and body before competition so that you respond
without thinking and you compete naturally.
Key points: Visualize yourself performing perfectly, right before you go to
bed at night. Whatever you think about before you go to sleep runs through
your unconscious 16 times. (Now that's practice!) Also, go through any skill
that you are performing poorly and see yourself perform that skill perfectly
over and over again. Last secret for now! Imagine that you were looking
through your opponents eyes and playing you. What strategy would you use?
This will give you information that you may not of had before!
By simply learning these 3 skills, you can easily change how you perform.
Go ahead and try it for a day. You may not be perfect right away, but that's
Good Luck and remember that those who focus like a champion feel like a
Ed O'Keefe is known as the "Pro's Pro." He consults with the highest level
athletes and coaches on teaching athletes how to focus, concentrate, and
enter the Zone through mental training and conditioning. Ed has created a
one-tape program called "Focus Like A Champion" and a 4 tape program called
the "Ultimate Mental Training Program For Athlete: Secrets For Speed Mental
Toughness." Ed speaks to corporations, athletic departments, and works with
individuals one on one. To get a free Peak Performance Newsletter and
Special Reports, and have a chance to win his program "Focus Like A
Champion, call (708) 424-5074.
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