One athlete recently shared with me 3 words she regularly reminds herself of: Trust, Confidence and Toughness. I thought that was a great example of Power Words.
I love these words because they capture many different things all together (which, by the way, may not be exactly what these words meant to this athlete):
- Trust: it captures the fact that at some point you need to commit yourself to the unknown and to the fact that you cannot control everything. It helps being OK with whatever happens and being detached from the outcome.
- Confidence: it captures the more inward feeling of believing in yourself, based on what you have previously accomplished and on what you know is true about yourself despite your inner critic and negative thoughts.
- Toughness: yes, sport is tough. Whether it’s physically through the pain of pushing oneself, through contacts in some sport and through injuries, or mentally when pressure is high and a lot is at stake, during downs in results, when being on the bench in a team sport etc… Being OK with the toughness of your sport will help better deal with it.
Other power words, depending on your personality and on what you may want to improve, could be Relax, Focus, Fun, Energy, Ease.
Words may mean or remind different things to different persons. Pick whatever words which resonate with you and help you be at your best. And really feel and embody their meaning (as opposed to just think about them): if you are reminding yourself of confidence, really embody that, remember your past peak performance to reinforce this feeling, not just believe, know you can make it. If your power word is Relax, really relax physically (your muscles) and mentally (create some space in your mind, slow down etc…). If it is Energy, you may for instance feel a warm and yellow/orange light in your body or sensations of being energized.
Just be creative with your words and feelings. And remind yourself of your power words when practicing, preparing or competing.
So, what are your Power Words?