10 Word Answers to the Mental Game

I’m a bit of a West Wing junkie – blessed to have called the shadow of the Washington Monument my home for a while and I simply enjoy the show’s wit and wisdom.  “10 Word Answers” is one of the many great pieces of worldly wisdom that can be found in its seven seasons.

“10 Word Answers” seem to abound in pseudo-sport psych.  Pithy statements, nice quotes that can be tacked to the wall of a locker room, and analogies that make an audience ewe and aw seem to be all around.  They are all part of the self-help industry that we all love for its concrete simplicity.  “Positive thoughts leads to positive actions” – wow, so simple.  Fortune cookie wisdom is good entertainment, a quick burst of good vibes, but not a real game changer at the end of the day.

The question one must consider is, “What are the actions, ideas, and cognitive development that follow the bulletin board material?”  In essence, what are the “next 10 words” in the mental game.  Player development and mental toughness is  a complex entity.  The mental game is shaped by opponents, coaches, families, peers, teammates, years of experiences, habits, weather,  future dreams and aspirations, and a handful of other factors.  A quick quote is nice, but depth of knowledge and development is key.  A reflective athlete, thoughtful coach, and competent sport psych professional do not run away from the complexity of sport, but rather embrace it – they can certainly sort through it all for most timely player development.  To do anything less would parochial.

Mental game changers lie in the graceful harnessing of everything that happens after the motivational speech.  Demand that your mental game soundbites have roots.  Ones that hold will hold you in place and give you consistence during that many opportunities of sport.

Complexity is not a vice… but rather the true answer to life’s most engaging challenges.

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2 Responses to “10 Word Answers to the Mental Game”


  1. 1 Antoinette August 7, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Wow, this piece of writing is pleasant, my younger sister is
    analyzing such things, so I am going to convey her.


  1. 1 Nature and Extrinsic Rewards « Professional Sport Psychology Symposium Trackback on August 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

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