Does Inner Game training work? Just ask Pete Carroll, head coach of Seattle Seahawks. You bet it does.

High-end competitive recreational athletes are always looking to get better at their sport. They are typically focused on competition and winning. Some consciously couple an attitude of ‘striving for excellence’ and the drive to win. They relish the competition, seen as the most important component of their athletic experience.

For coaches and competitive athletes, there has always been the key question: how can an athlete optimize excellence and potential?

There is an emerging view among athletes that focusing on excellence in our particular athletic craft is the most optimal way to produce greater performance and winning. Many coaches and athletes are coming to this orientation, understanding that since winning always involves excellence, why not focus on the most important elements of a sport. They realize that winning will take care of itself if excellence is developed and achieved.

It is this ‘striving for excellence’ door that can be opened and enhanced by inner-game training.

Most athletic training is concerned with externals that can be measured, such as:

Physical training: Strength, stamina, flexibility, in all the various forms and approaches offered by the wide range of training programs for all sports.

Technique: How to do a sport most efficiently and effectively in terms of biomechanics.

Competition strategy: The best way to approach and deal with a competition. Accessing the competition is a key part of this strategy.

Teamwork: For team sports, how well are the individual team members melded into an effective, cohesive team able to execute game strategy and be successful.

 

The Inner Game:

Inner-game training, by comparison, focuses on what is going on ‘between the ears,’ raising a key question: What is the optimal mindset or state of consciousness for training and competition?  

Inner-game training also raises a number of other questions: Can the inner game be learned and developed? Is it really effective? How should it be integrated with a typical training program? What are the best inner-game practices for which particular sports?

What we are seeing at the leading edge of athletic training is the inclusion of inner-game or mindset training as a key component in generating and enhancing better performance.

It is important to understand how the inclusion of this view shifts the focus to developing excellence, rather than focusing so much on winning the contest. It is a focus on the process of getting better,  not the product or outcome.

A number of elite coaches, such as Pete Carroll, the legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson, and Alabama head football coach Nick Sabin, have integrated inner-game approaches into their coaching philosophies and approaches.

These coaches understand an integral approach in which all the externals and inner-game practices are essential to the athlete’s excellence and success in the win column.

They also honor the truth of the old saw that says, “what we do in practice, we will do in a game.” So mental training perspectives and techniques are learned and practiced daily, so they can be used in competition. Like physical training regimens, inner-game practices must be practiced every day.

Join the Sports, Energy and Consciousness Group, www.sportsenergygroup.com for our first SEC Sport Festival on June 10-12, 2016 at Dominican College, San Rafael CA.  Click for Detail on our web page.  We will be presenting a number of “hands-on” inner game perspectives and practices to incorporate into your training and improve performance.