Does Overthinking Affect Your Game?

Have you ever heard the saying paralysis by analysis?

It is when someone thinks too much or over-analyzes a situation and instead of making a decision they land up doing nothing. In effect the outcome becomes paralyzed.

In sport an example of this may be not making the right pass at the right time or taking too long to take action, i.e. getting tackled or defeated before they get the chance to do something.

This happens when we over-complicate something and focus too much on the details, instead of just trusting the process.

This is indirectly related to fear and not wanting to make a mistake, which is also linked to perfectionism.

It would actually be better to just doing something, even if it’s the wrong decision, and if you make a mistake then you just got to make sure you learn from it.

The fact is that we learn more from our mistakes than from getting things right, so understand that mistakes are an important part of our development as an athlete.

That is why we train, because it is at practice where we should be making mistakes so that we can learn from them and correct them. The more mistakes you make the more you should be learning.

Develop your “killer instinct”

Most sports should be played in the unconscious part of the brain which relies on instinct and reaction.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, they have a killer instinct?

Instinct comes from the unconscious mind which is key to success in sport.

However there are a lot of people who try to play sport with the conscious part of the brain, which is responsible for logic and reasoning. This is often the case for many people who are dominant left brained thinkers (i.e. accountants, lawyers, etc).unconscious

The conscious part of the brain can be used in practice but come game time you should be using the unconscious part of the brain, as it processes much faster meaning your decisions and reaction will likely be better and quicker.

The problem is that most people aren’t aware of this or haven’t been taught to know how to develop the instinctive part of the brain, which is where mindset training can be really beneficial.

The great news is that anyone can develop their unconscious mind.

Mindset training doesn’t mean you have a weakness, it just means you’re developing this skill.

It actually means you have more potential inside yourself than you think, but you have to learn how to unleash that potential. We are all conditioned in a certain way so often we just have to re-learn how to think like a champion at an unconscious level.

If you tend to overthink, then you need to learn how to switch off the chatterbox part of the brain that analyses and instead program your mind to just do what you want and what you’ve learn’t.

Not only is it frustrating when you underperform but it can also be very frustrating for coaches watching players from the sideline who are NOT doing what they’re capable of because they are overthinking.

This is just one of the many barriers that hold players back from playing their best and reaching their potential.

To find out more or for a breakthrough session you can request a FREE strategy session here

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About The Author

Lauren Penny

Lauren is a former International Hockey Player, Performance Coach & Mentor specialising in helping hockey players to be more confident, improve their fitness and perform more consistently to get noticed and reach higher teams.