Time and Space = Victory

Offensive players that have time to set up and space in which to execute get points.  Defenders who force attackers to speed up their play and give them little space within which to play prevent points.  This is true in many, many sports – basketball, rugby, hockey, soccer, football, to name a few.

Time allow players to settle themselves and find optimal targets.

Space gives players a sense of comfort and freedom, and allows full energy to be committed to the task at hand.

These are basic principles that when understood and execute reap huge benefits in the win and loss column.  Time and space allows players to be their best.  Perhaps an iteration of these principles should be adopted for the development of mental toughness.

Between practices, games, injury management, meetings, social commitments, and all of the business of life (student-athlete class demands and professional athlete professional obligations) there is not much place for time and space in athletes’ lives.  Hustle and bustle are staples of the competitive and deadline-laddened lives many of us lead.  Hustle and bustle often robs us of time and space and there are costs as pointed out in a recent Boston.com Child in Mind health and wellness blog – When Time and Space Is Treatment (take a moment to read over the article and substitute in “athlete” for parent, “coach” for doctor, and “performance” for child).  There’s nothing wrong with hustle and bustle, but time and space needs to be created regularly if most positive outcomes are to occur.  This sounds a lot like sports – a lot of hustle and bustle, but when time and space found great things happen.

sports – a lot of hustle and bustle, but when time and space found great things happen

During the course of a season is time and space deliberately set aside for athletes or does hustle and bustle reign supreme?  If any player is to max out his mental game, time and space needs to be found in the midst of travel, taping, playing, and all the rest.  It is the difference between going through the motions and making the motions competitive.  So often mental training is thought of as executing a mental skill or doing some mental exercises… perhaps a bit, but in truth it’s about applying the simple principles of time and space to practice habits.


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