If you’re like me, we spend a lot of time practicing the physical skills of our sport and scrimmaging to get ready for games. The hours and hours of drills definitely help us become skilled enough to play at the highest level possible.

As I’ve read stories about professional and Olympic athletes, one thing I’ve noticed is that they often talk about the importance of working on their mental game and spiritual side. For the mental game, visualization is popular where you close your eyes and imagine highlights of yourself playing your best. Creating a list of process goals for your sport also builds discipline to have a stronger mind. For example, a process goal might be to watch 1 hour of video each week on my competition to see what their tendencies are and the strategies they like to use.

For the spiritual side, I’m a big believer in gratitude. I try to think of 2-3 things every day that I’m thankful for—things like petting my dog Breeze, having a delicious bowl of rigatoni Alfredo pasta, or hanging out at my friend’s house and playing ping pong. When we remember what we’re thankful for, it helps put our spiritual self in a good place.

Here’s a few ways you might work on mind, body, and spirit:

  • Have a theme for the season or game to keep you focused (One Team; This is our house; The best us; Stronger together)
  • Talk about the situation before you get into it (big crowd, loud fans, other team’s strategy against us, keys to success)
  • Keep a list of the 2-3 most important things that you do for your team and review them before each game (”I communicate with my teammates quickly and confidently”; “I keep my elbow in and follow through with my wrist on my jump shot).

When it comes to mind, body, and spirit, let’s remind each other to fill in the holes—so we can stay whole.

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