The Monsters Under Our Beds

By June 6, 2014 2 Comments

photo2.jpgWhether we remember it or not, most of us were afraid of monsters under the bed growing up. Kids can become paralyzed by this fear until they work up enough courage to face it, and by facing it they do something they’ve never done before. This week we’ll discuss how sports can help us overcome fear.

Lets say that child afraid of the monster has use the bathroom in the middle of night. They need to go but don’t want to get out of bed for fear that the monster might get them. So what do they do? They can stay in bed and succumb to the fear or they can jump from the bed to the door. When jumping the child covers a distance they never thought they could reach, but were able to because fear was used a motivator. The same holds true in sports, business, and life. If confronted and used properly, fear will help us reach new heights.

Here are five strategies we can use in sports and business to help us face our fear and succeed.

  1. Have gratitude. By being grateful that we’re playing in the big game or giving the big sales pitch we are better able to perform in the moment. If we’re truly thankful for the opportunity we reduce the pressure on ourselves.
  2. Be positive. In sports we tend to think of what could go wrong in the big moment or big game. Athletes and coaches alike will succumb to the fear by only thinking of what’s going to happen if we lose or if we make a mistake that costs the team the game. Instead of this approach, we should think of all the good that can and will happen. Using positive self-talk and visualization will help in overcoming fear and performing your best.
  3. Have perspective. Sometimes in sports and business we forget how fortunate we really are. There are millions of people in this world that would kill to be in the situations we are and have the opportunities we do. During our basketball season we have “Thankful Thursdays” where I deliver messages to our players showing them people from disadvantaged situations. Examples are people without a home, shoes, or clean water. This helps our players realize the great opportunity they have that many others don’t, which in turn motivates them to give their best effort. By taking this approach we realize the game or sales pitch is not the most important thing in life.
  4. Discuss the fear. By discussing the fear we have with a trusted adult, team member, or coach we will likely hear that we have it takes to overcome it. All we need is a little confidence, and sometimes that is hard to gather on our own. If we share our fears with the ones we trust they can help talk us through how to attack the fear and succeed.
  5. Face the fear. No matter what, we can’t run from fear. We have to face it head on. Each time we do, it becomes a little easier. The fear subsides with each small victory we have and pretty soon we develop a sense of self-confidence that propels us to new heights of success.

Whether it’s the child before bedtime, the athlete before the big game, or the salesperson before a big pitch, we all have monsters we’re facing; they’re just in different forms. Starting at an early age we must use these five methods to face fear and overcome it. If we run from it, it will eat us up and consume our lives. However, if we confront it and use it to our advantage, fear can be a very powerful motivating force in our lives.

What are some other methods you use in dealing with fear?

As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Alan Chesney says:

    Thanks so much Kyle…I remember having “Tigers”‘ under my bed as a terrified kid..my older sister often looked under the bed for me to confirm they weren’t there!….I love your messages as I was an elite Sportsman(Olympic Gold Medal in a team sport)and I later went into Sales and excelled(however I do remember the initial fear I had until I shared with others and we supported eachother)..I am now involved with a simple and fun kids coaching program that was put together by a colleague of mine from Germany(he has been based in Spain for many years coaching)…it is ironical that his program is designed to encourage kids to enjoy freedom from an early age by starting with the head and finishing with the feet(this is for Soccer…but can be adapted to most team sports)….Spanish Giant Barcelona FC took on this program over 20 years ago..then the Spanish Football Federation..then it spread to Germany..Italy..South America…just watch how they play compared to most of the teams around the world…I don’t think too many of them had Monsters under their beds for too long!….your suggestions are so needed in our so-called modern society Kyle..thank you!
    With Gratitude
    Alan Chesney(originally from New Zealand…spent many years in Australia…now based in South Africa)

  • kelmendorf says:

    Thanks for reading and commenting Alan, I appreciate it! I would love to know/learn more about the kids coaching program you’re involved in. Do you have a website to go to? There is no denying the success that those programs have had for many years. I truly believe that mental part of the game and life is the most important. I always want to learn more about all aspects of coaching, especially the mental side. Thanks for reaching out, hope to hear from you soon.