Turn Off Your Mind for a Few Minutes
A major-league pitcher once told me he wished he could cut off his head and just let his body play the game. Even the best athletes fall apart when they give in to their internal dialogue about what they have to do on the field or the court—especially since much of what goes through their minds may be negative. To help you calm down, you need to quiet your own internal thoughts. It doesn’t need to be a complicated process: Listen to music, play cards, or zone out in front of the television. Ask any player who had a good game what was going through his head and he’ll tell you, “Absolutely nothing.”
Bob Tewksbury, a former major-league pitcher, is a sports-psychology consultant for the Boston Red Sox.