Pro Motocross ‘Mind Coach’ Explains How To Really ‘Think Positive’ And Conquer Fear
Close your eyes and for the next ten seconds … think positive. My guess is you’re a little confused, and don’t know what exactly you are supposed to think positively about. Right? Well that’s part of the problem with the term think positive. It is a very ‘abstract’ idea, and difficult to process effectively. No question that a positive attitude will make you happier and healthier …improving both your life and your lap times. There are plenty of title championships and studies to support that fact . A big problem in motocross racing, is that riders and their supporters are constantly mis-using the term think positive. For example, at a race I attended last year, a top five pro rider took a big crash in a turn. He wasn’t injured, but was clearly shaken by the mishap. As I was walking through the pits I overheard his father saying “just forget it, you have to think positive!” I could see the confusion on that rider’s face …he didn’t quite know how to process the advice.
Motocross requires your brain to process information very quickly. If you can’t properly process obstacles, such as a crash or process advice given to you by your supporters …then that lack of understanding can actually have a very negative effect on your performance. Your brain’s most important function is to keep you safe, and if you are unable to work through certain fears, your mind can unconsciously experience thoughts of past traumatic situations. The rider who crashed, went on to get passed six times in his following motos …with each pass occurring in the exact same corner where he originally crashed! I’m sure he was trying his best, but the part of his brain in charge of keeping him safe, was slowing him down through that exact same corner on every lap. By attempting to think positive, you are really just trying to ‘hide the truth’. However, your brain performs best when it’s in a relaxed state, it is busy reconciling ‘untruths’, to remain relaxed and focused. Don’t make the mistake of lying to yourself or hiding the truth, as an unsuccessful attempt to think positive. You will never convince your mind that something negative is really something positive. It will take too much energy away from your focus and performance. Instead, to successfully think positive, work diligently to accept the negative. The act of processing ‘negative thoughts’, helps with accepting them…allowing your conscious mind to focus on what is happening in the present, not the past. Accepting the negative helps your subconscious mind to stop reacting to fear.
If the rider that crashed in that turn could have spent a few minutes with me, practicing this information I coach to professional racers, he might have been celebrating on the podium that night, instead of being passed in the turn he feared most. Racers need to understand how important a role their minds play in winning motocross races. Here are the simplified tips I practice with several Pro racers when attempting to think positive and eliminate fear:
Accept: When things have gone bad …admit it, accept it, and remember it’s temporary. Recall the event and allow yourself to be emotional about it. Stay with those negative emotions for as long as ten minutes… and then move on.
Re-Create: After admitting and accepting a negative event, re-create it. When you begin to move on, its then time to fix your emotional state by re-creating the event in a positive way. For example, if you have a crash, dont ignore it…but rather, deal with it. Spend your ten minutes processing that fear or anger … then it’s time to re-create the crash in an astounding way. In your mind, envision yourself going through the same section extremely fast, smooth and solid. Take time to feel the emotions and how great you feel going through that section really fast and smooth. Go through this scenario in your head several times.
Practice: It may feel weird at first, but keep working on this strategy. This will help your brain process negative emotions, and help you replace them with positive ones. You can practice this technique with just about anything. Whether it’s a crash, a bad start, a near miss, or even missing an entire season. Try it and practice it. It’s what I teach the pro’s…and it’s what I can teach you.