This email was recently sent out to the members of VCCE as a part of a weekly sports psychology update. It is well written so I thought that I would share it with you.  It is written by a sports psychologist Carl Nienhuis

People like to compare themselves to others.  We do it all the time.  Sometimes we want someone else’s car or clothes or their looks or their athletic ability; sometimes we want their personality…we want to be funny like him or sweet and friendly like her.  Sport is based on comparing people and teams to each other.  Who is better?  Who is faster?  Who is stronger?  Who will win?  There is nothing wrong with wanting to compare yourself to others…that’s what having a role-model is all about, and that is the basis for competition…but you must also accept who you are and realize that focusing on improving yourself and pursuing your own personal potential will produce greater positive change for yourself.  Consider this:

Ladder 1:

  1. Them 
  2. Them
  3. Them
  4.  Me
  5. Them
  6. Them

One way to rank yourself is in comparison to other people (Ladder 1).  This is often easier and could be very satisfying, especially if you are high up on that ladder.  However, it can also be very frustrating and stressful because of your lack of control over what others do.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to be THE best, but keep in mind that someone else’s best could be better than your best, and it is tiring to let that bother you.

Ladder 2:

  1. My Potential
  2. ?
  3. ?
  4. Where I Am
  5. ?
  6. Where I Was

Climbing up Ladder 2 is the key in climbing up Ladder 1.  You have greater control over every step on Ladder 2.  The beauty of it is that you do not know what ‘Your Potential’ actually is, and so it is very exciting to watch yourself take steps towards it  So push that boundary…challenge yourself and see what you are capable of becoming.  Every day and with every ball you have the opportunity to take steps up this ladder, or to slide down it…it’s your call.

So, my question of the week, and consider it your challenge for the summer:  How do you rank?

Stop comparing yourself to others. Control the things that you have control over. Direct your time and effort into becoming the best you can be rather than beating the competition. If you are interested in hearing more sport psychology tips from Carl, check out his website

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