Thinking like a winner
Saul Yudelowitz BSc (Hons)
As the Senior Musculoskeletal Specialist of Health and Performance I have treated, rehabilitated and coached many different athletes from a wide range of different sports. I have also had the opportunity to work with patients, who are not involved in professional sport, these range from the sports enthusiast to the couch potato.
There is a significant difference in the cerebral function of the group of patients that I treated that succeed in life as opposed to those that fall short of their mark they set. Success is determined by you, weather this is a healthy or unhealthy goal. Of course I would not recommend setting unhealthy goals but while this might sound strange it does occur more often than we think.
There are two basic parts to our cerebral function, the conscious and the subconscious. Both can be compared to a computer. The conscious would be like an old home computer, good at working on a single specific task but as it needs to process multiple variables it slows down exponentially. The point here is that we have full control of our conscious but it is designed to zone in on one variable and is very inefficient at zoning in on more than one. The subconscious by comparison would be like a super computer that has an exceptional memory and operates at very fast speeds. In truth when an athlete gets into the zone they are working more with the subconscious part of the brain. This is what allows for the preprogrammed responses to events that are just about to take place in the sporting environment. The way in witch the conscious and subconscious process information differs significantly. While the subconscious takes in all information, even what we are not consciously aware of, the conscious only notes what we are zoning in on. Now here is the important point. Based on our belief system we have created which is in turn based on what we have experienced in life, our subconscious grades the level of importance of the incoming information. The more important the information is the easier it will be to recall the information from memory while information that is regarded as unimportant gets dumped.
This is perhaps better explained in another manner. Any human that has experienced a traumatic event in their life will resonate with the following.
If we respectfully use the example of the London Underground bombings, the individuals who were on the train at this time will have a very vivid memory of what occurred. They will be amazed that they can even remember not just the faces of other strangers but also the color of their clothes, what shoes an individual was wearing, even jewelry that some people had on.
This is due to the importance that the subconscious placed on the incoming information. There is another important point to consider. As more and more senses are stimulated, the subconscious will increase the level of importance associated to the incoming information. One of the issues that humans could experience after such an event would be post traumatic stress disorder. This is because the subconscious has not been introduced to our invention of time as well as not being able to differentiate between what is literally experienced by us and what is only imagined by us. When any of the senses are stimulated post event, the subconscious will correlate this to previous experience and once again associate a level of importance to the incoming information. This could be experience when a survivor hears a loud bang and finds that they experience similar sensations as when the bomb exploded.
While I have used a sensitive subject I take absolutely no importance away from the experience this had on everyone involved directly and indirectly but it does show a very valid and important point.
The vast majority of our reactions to information absorbed by us in any form are controlled by our subconscious. Most of us just leave our subconscious to run and never think about how it associates importance to our experiences. It is vital that we begin to asses what is actually important and what might be important and what is not important. Reprogramming the subconscious to assess information and ascribe a level of importance to information is not just vital it is a life long journey. This is because as we age, different things have different levels of importance, so as a child if we give a high level of importance to incoming information and then as an adult we have not recalibrated the level of importance to this information, as an adult when we experience the same information we will think and behave as a child. Another way of saying this that parents realize is. When we are children we say with all the conviction in the world that we will never be like our parents with our children. Unless the subconscious is reprogrammed we will be just like our parents!
Once subconscious reprogramming has taken place an athlete can think like a winner or for that matter anyone can think like a winner. What many people might not realize about all professional sports, there is a great deal of sledging. One famous incident comes to mind between an Italian and French football player in the final of the world cup. We all remember how this ended but clearly the Italian found, weather intentionally or by accident a subject that the Frenchman had not yet reprogrammed his subconscious about and the reaction was that of a child, emotionally inappropriate and unprofessional. Men are rather poor at this as they generally tend to be less emotionally intelligent than women. A possible reason for this is that women have more connections in the Corpse Collosum, an area that connects the two halves of the brain and could possibly allow for an easier access to the subconscious via the right side of the brain. In my experience of working with many different people from so many different backgrounds I believe that recalibrating the subconscious brain to assess incoming information and ascribe a level of importance with respect to where we are in our life at that point in time allows us to think like a winner and this is normal not nice!
If you are intrested to discuss this artical or book in for treatment please send us an email from our contact page.
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