Discover more from 3 Points by Brian Sullivan
Thermostat or Thermometer
Which one are you?
This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s (AASP) regional conference. It was an awesome learning opportunity and I am excited to share what I learned from this conference in the coming weeks.
In this week’s 3 Points, I’ll share three practical ideas that have stuck with me from the AASP Conference.
1. Are you a thermostat or a thermometer?
What’s the difference? A thermometer reads the temperature of the environment it’s in; it is a reflection of the environment. A thermostat sets the temperature of the environment it’s in; it regulates the environment.
Can you be “70 and sunny” when your circumstances are not? Can you bring energy to practice on a 3-game losing streak? Can you remain poised in the huddle in a chaotic moment?
2. The 2x4 Rule
Dr. Lani Lawrence, Director of Wellness and Clinical Services for the NY Giants, presented on how she helps the athletes she works with deal with stress, and I believe it applies to coaches. As we know, coaching can be stressful.
Working in athletics often means unpredictable schedules, especially when you are not the one in charge of it. So Dr. Lawrence poses the 2x4 rule, which is that the athletes she works with have a technique or plan on demand to help manage stress when they have:
Her premise is that, in the world of sports, you can’t always plan for that afternoon or weekend off, so if you don’t have some premeditated ways of managing your stress, you may miss the opportunity. What is your plan for what you will you do if you have 2 free minutes? 2 free hours? Etc, etc.
3. An approach to getting out of your comfort zone
Let’s pretend you were invited to give a presentation at a huge conference. You’re thrilled and quickly your attention turns to preparing. If you’re like me, that might lead to anxiety, doubt, and fear. Because of this, I might be more likely to decline the opportunity, or subconsciously start creating reasons as to why that weekend doesn’t work with my schedule.
What if, however, we made our decisions based on how we would feel AFTER we completed whatever the scary opportunity is. Why prioritize and act on the emotions and feelings in the preparation phase? As we know, confident actions come before confident feelings.