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Thinking Right…. Coach JT Ayers - Track and Field - 2011. Objectives. Importance of Positive Self Talk Training (Do’s and Don’ts) . Power of Mental Training. “(Racing) is probably 80% of your preparation. Even if you body is ready, you must have it upstairs or it just wont go”

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thinking right

Thinking Right…

Coach JT Ayers - Track and Field - 2011

  • Importance of Positive Self Talk
  • Training (Do’s and Don’ts)
power of mental training
Power of Mental Training
  • “(Racing) is probably 80% of your preparation. Even if you body is ready, you must have it upstairs or it just wont go”
  • Psychosomatic Diseases
  • “Man becomes what he thinks about all day long”
the power of the mind
The Power of the Mind

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

  • Stories of P.O.W.’s return home with new skills
  • You can program your mind for success or failure
  • Salt Water or Fresh – James 3:11-1

What’s down in the well will come up in the bucket

common mental mistakes
Common Mental Mistakes

I. Practice Only Strengths

A. Everyone likes what they do best

B. To Improve - must correct your weakness

C. Who can Help?

“A chain is only as

strong as its weakest link”

common mental mistakes1
Common Mental Mistakes

II. No Definite Goals

A. Many athletes drift to competition

B. Can’t travel with no destination

C. Effective

“If you do not know where you are going, how can you ever get there?”

common mental mistakes2
Common Mental Mistakes

III. Afraid of Failure

A. Psychological tug-of-war

B. Failure = Opportunities (a rest stop)

C. Get Feedback

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continuously fearing you will make one”

common mental mistakes3
Common Mental Mistakes

IV. Practice But Do Not Improve

A. Just showing up

B. Mentally/Emotionally Involved

“Practice does not make perfect – only perfect practice makes perfect”

common mental mistakes4
Common Mental Mistakes

V. Athletes Advertise Wrong

A. Positive ads but negative athletes

B. Bad Salesmen

C. Change the Station

“You become what you think about most of the time”

common mental mistakes5
Common Mental Mistakes


  • Gain from Experience of others – Bible/Teammates
  • Value others - John 13:34-35
  • Learn from your own mistakes as well as mistake of others

“ They teach you how to do it and how not to, both are of equal importance” – Poppa Ayers

strategies to improve self talk
Strategies to Improve Self Talk

I. Practice Positive Thinking

A. Constantly

B. Lazy Thinking

C. Practice Competition

strategies to improve self talk1
Strategies to Improve Self Talk

II. Think in Vivid Emotional Terms

A. Visualize out-loud

B. Examples:

“I will not surrender”

“I love competing more than winning”

“I will put myself on the line everyday”

“I will not turn against myself during tough times”

“I will come totally prepared to compete everyday”

“ I will not show weakness on the outside”

“The crazier it gets, the more I will love it”

“How’s the weather outside?....Perfect”!

strategies to improve self talk2
Strategies to Improve Self Talk

III. During Moments of Execution, Focus Your Attention Outside Yourself

A. Choking

B. “Get outside your head”

C. Emotion and Attention

Negative Thoughts  Arousal Problems  Attention Problems

strategies to improve self talk3
Strategies to Improve Self Talk

IV. Strategic Visualizations

A. Overcoming Weakness

B. Mental Victory

C. Relax and Calm-down

Aaron Rodgers on Visualization

Many short sessions (5-10) are much better than one or two long sessions

strategies to improve self talk4
Strategies to Improve Self Talk

V. How to Think About Your Own Mistakes

A. Running not to Lose

B. “If you are gonnafall, fall bravely and with style”

C. Playing it Safe?

D. After a Mistake, then what?

What could I or should have done differently?

2. What can I learn from this?

3. What can I take away from this that will help me in the future?

summary and application
Summary and Application
  • 5 C’s of SuCCCCCess
    • 1. Confidence
    • 2. Concentration
    • 3. Composure
    • 4. Courage
    • 5. Commitment
  • “We choose what we think. We can choose to think in ways that help us become our very best. Only we can control our Confidence, Concentration, Composure, Courage, Commitment.”
essay response
Essay Response

Coach Ayers explained five strategies to improve self-talk.

Choose one of these strategies to write your essay on. Your essay should answer the following questions:

1.) How does this strategy improve self-talk? Explain this strategy in detail and what training is involved.

2.) What are two ways you can use this strategy to help you improve in your self-talk and overall performance?

3.) Lastly, why is improving self-talk important to you as an athlete?

  • Dungy, Tony. (2008). Uncommon: finding your path of significance. Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers.
  • Gratton, C, & Jones, I. (2004). Research methods for sport studies. New York: Psychology Press.
  • McGuire, Dr. R. (2008, February). Thinking right. Techniques, 19-21.
  • Norton, K. You are what you think you are. Runner's World Magazine, 32.
  • Gilbert, PH.D R. The five biggest mental mistakes athletes make and how to overcome them. 8-9.
  • This last article was given to me as a copy from coach Joe Gonzales. No working title or reference points. Summary: 17 mental toughness prompts that play a powerful role in Ideal Performance State.