Train to keep calm and carry on for success

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Story for life lesson

If someone has been following Murray’s game for last few years will know that his biggest demon was his mental block to choke in crucial situation and not emerge victorious in last four grand slams. In 2013 Wimbeldon Men’s Final, his fans were nervous as he lost three Championship point to world #1 Novak DjokoVic. However, Murray remained calm and took the game, making him first Brit man to crown champion since 1936. Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl has been credited to improve his mental and physical game. A few years ago Murray wouldn’t have had the mental capacity to focus on what he had to do.

Corporate professionals can learn a lot from sports training to improve their capacity to intake more stress, keep calm and carry on for success. I remember a few years back I recently started working with Microsoft and had to deal with a unique issue, which I fail to address in-time. To be honest, I was flustered by it, didn’t have my calm in the moment and disappointed by not resolving it in-time. I was curious to learn how to tackle it in future, so I went up to my Director and asked him, “Sir, I need your guidance, what should I do if this happens again?” He replied with a life lesson for me, he said “Varun this is a rare situation and chances of this happening again is less than 1%. However, there would similar situations not same situation. Your success is defined by how you handle unusual situation. Make sure to keep calm and focus on big picture.”

Psychology and mindset behind success

Practice makes perfect, so the saying goes. It’s now widely accepted that practice is not the only factor but rather is one of the dominant factors in achieving success, whether in sport or in corporate environment. There are other dominant factors such as talent, and more importantly, psychology, are thought to take far greater precedence.

FIFA-13-Preview-Penalty-Kick

Corporate professionals can apply the same techniques to stay calm and focused in a situation like a player during penalty kicks. Mind and body works together, so it’s important to train it equally.

Here are a few unique ways to enhance performance and increase stress intake capacity

Work on Mental Toughness –

  1. Psychologist: Working closely with a psychologist can help build mental toughness
  2. Visualization: By Re-creating positive experience in the mind or replaying in advance a successful completion of the high-impact task
  3. Positive self-talk: either by thoughts or spoken out loud self-talks
  4. Listening to upbeat music: by listening to your favorite upbeat music
  5. Arousal Control: Read more here

arousalcontrol_chart1

Work on Physical Endurance –

  1. Trainer: Working closely with trainer to push physical capacity
  2. Controlled deep breathing: Ensuring few deep breaths to keep calm
  3. Muscle relaxation: By using Progressive relaxation technique. See here

Below is an infographics on stress.

Stres_Infographic_May13

Source: wimbeldon 2013, usaswimming.org, opp, Fifa13

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