ASAP Training Step 3

STEP 3. ACTIVATE DEFENSE

Everyone has natural reactions to challenges, but “natural” certainly does not mean the reaction can’t be changed. When we start to focus on desired outcomes after we encounter disappointment, we can begin to change over time, transforming our “natural” destructive inclinations into constructive solutions.

Most of us don’t need to be told that things can change. We already know that there are things we can shift in our lives and in our minds that will help us overcome failure.

The real problem is: we don’t know where to start. We don’t know the way that things will shift or what actual practice to put in place that will help us along the way.

But what if there was a way to work on our mental defenses using tactics others have used before us? Instead of scraping together insight from the people in our own circle, what if there was a space to learn more about your mental game no matter your history, support system, or experiences? Where you can learn and understand your different options for recovery, hear about the struggles of those people who have been through similar roadblocks, and conquer the fear of failing by purely learning more about it and the steps that come afterwards.

This is the ultimate goal of Defense Club. We want to take you out of the unknown and that disorienting feeling that failure brings on and encourage you to embrace failure because it’s one of the only things we can count on in sports and in life.

You know that things won’t be perfect. You have been told this and you have experienced it. Now it’s time to maximize your ability to grow from this reality.

Here are 5 skills Defense Club can help you with that you’re struggling with right now:

  1. Reframing your mindset
  2. Balancing your sport and your life
  3. Discovering what your healthy reactions could look like
  4. Building and maintaining confidence
  5. Practicing good self-talk

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Diving Deeper: Looking into Mental Skills

Reframe

How do we fix our reactions? What’s going on in our minds that we default to our defensive personalities?

When you know what you want, you don’t need to know the exact steps it will take to get there.

Your eyes are open for any opportunity to push forward.

You’ll know the path that feels right when you get there. Reframe your mindset to trust the process.

When we react in a defensive way to a failure, we do so because we feel like we are under attack.

Our identity, how others see us and our expectations of ourselves all come into question. When we fail, life is not happening according to our plans. The best players and the most successful people are able to REFRAME this train of thought because they realize that their “plans” don’t have to be altered due to a bump in the road.

Whether you believe in a higher power that has it all figured out for us or if you’re more the type that believes everything happens for a reason, reframing your thoughts to trust the process is one of the healthiest techniques to invest in as you move through life.

Beyond your beliefs, there are facts regarding “trusting the process” – it’s not blind faith – LIFE. GOES. ON. No matter what happens. No matter what you thought would or wouldn’t turn out. Life moves forward and we have a choice to make the best out of it… or to stay stuck in the worst of it.

Reframing is an expert skill. Simple in nature, but definitely easier said than done. Good thing to note is that if you can’t master this skill initially, there are other tactics that will help you along the way and exercises to develop each one.

Pivot

All you need to have the strength to make it is to believe that you can do it.

The ability to pivot and to be agile when hardships come at us is essential to staying physically and mentally healthy.

There are some people that are naturally good at adjusting to change or growth and there are some that get extremely uncomfortable when faced with similar change. Have you been described as flexible or able to adapt? Then you’re on your way to perfecting your mental PIVOT.

Mental agility gets us back on a direct course after a failure reroutes us. The better we are able to pivot and adjust, the faster we can recover; the faster we can get back into a growth mindset instead of fall into a defensive personality.

Balance

Your happiest day can only be realized when you’ve been through some grind, some darkness, some doubt.

Winning a National Championship was sweeter a year later and in the years after graduation when I understood how much it actually took to get to that point and compared it to the harder side of athletics and of life. I’m thankful that I’ve seen the light and the dark.

The only way to be truly okay with failure is to practice balance.

When we discover that the dark was needed to see all that is beautiful in the light, we will understand and even welcome tough times.

I believe that the most enlightened, fulfilled, and happy people have found balance in work and play and balance in drive and forgiveness. They are able to push themselves and also give themselves a break. They are able to have high standards, but they can also be thankful for those things they already have.

Balance will be your touchstone in seeing the bigger picture.

When you activate your defense, you learn ways to change your perspective, to develop healthy habits, and to react to failure in a way that can propel you forward instead of hold you back.

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