Just Do It!

This slogan from the famous sporting goods manufacturer, Nike, has become recognized worldwide.  Apart from its marketing appeal it is worth looking further into its sentiment and adopting its meaning.

At Mental Notes Consulting we constantly talk about the ‘right’ state of mind to perform at your peak.  Many people assume that this means that everything we do relates to thinking – whether it’s planning, positive self-talk, motivational thoughts, or imagining successful performance.

Whilst these skills are incredibly useful and important, they are only half of the picture when it comes to successful performance.

Actions have power.

It is important to plan, set out routines, set goals, and have positive thoughts but if there are no actions to back all of this up it is an exercise in dreaming.  Putting these things into action is what separates the ‘could-have-been’ athletes from the ‘greats’.

If we turn to our recent Queensland sporting heroes we see this message reiterated over and over in their successes.

Recently, the Queensland Reds won their first Rugby Championship in the professional era.  Any Reds fan who has stuck by them throughout the years despite the lack of results, will tell you that they have looked different since the coaching appointment of Ewen McKenzie.  They have been putting into action all of the things they have been saying they needed to do to win and the result has been very successful for them this year.

The Maroons state of origin team learned from game two that what they needed to do was to start strongly and assert their dominance over NSW early. They had done this well in the first game, not so well in the second game, but then came out firing for game three and like the Reds, created success.

Actions are required for peak performance because actions need to work in unison with the mental components of the game.  It’s not enough to set goals, or to have a game plan. The goals and the game plan require action for them to lead to success.

The most successful athletes in sport are the ones who walk-the-walk.  Roger Federer has been as cool as ice on a tennis court for several years but this wasn’t always the case.  He had to go away, work hard on his mental game, but then put it into practice on court.  It has been his consistent actions that have made him one of the best tennis players of all time.

Darren Lockyer is incredibly talented and very mentally tough, but what many sometimes underestimate is how hard he physically works to be in his peak form.  He could have talent and mental toughness but if he didn’t do the actual work he wouldn’t play at the level he does.

Quite simply, if we don’t walk-the-walk then we will never be successful.  The mental component is incredibly important to performance in all sports at all levels but if you don’t put in the hard work then you will never reap the rewards.

Jim Rohn, a famous American motivational speaker, uses a quote about discipline and success which states,

“Success is no mystery.  It is a matter of discipline.  Discipline is not letting go of the things we know we should do, we do them!”

If you look back over your recent performances (whether in sport, at work or even at home) and think about all the little things that you know you need to do to be successful in that arena, ask yourself if you are honestly doing them in the way they should be done.  You may be surprised at what a big difference actions can make.

So the message sent out by Nike all those years ago is incredibly important still today – Just do it!

Mental Notes Consulting has consultants throughout South East Queensland who can work with you to help maximise your performance and reach your potential by helping you to take the actions required to be successful.

Matt Ahlberg | Sport & Exercise Psychologist MAPS