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Human Reactions

adaption anger athlete behavior discipline mentaltoughness Mar 09, 2023

I was talking to a friend and they suggested I spell the word “part” backwards. I thought about it, then realized it was a “trap.” LOL.

Welcome to Mental Fitness Fridays. I'm Hans Skulstad.

This week I was meeting with a golfer. We were talking about his game and his reactions to "bad" shots. He said he gets really mad. I asked if he felt trapped, and if he thought his reaction was too rough or on the fringe of abnormal.  

He missed my jokes. but it didn't tee me off. So we took a swing at trying to understand the anger.

Human nature dictates that when things don't go our way, we will have a reaction, which is different than a response. When something goes wrong, we get a surge of hormones that create energy. We often see emotional energy as instruction, not information.

We both learned a lot from the discussion and I'm bringing you a twist to make it even more effective.

This is tin foil. I am going to ball it up. The foil is the reaction to the challenging situation we have created with our last action. In this case: a shot. Human nature makes us want to crumple it into a ball. The mental toughness traps tell us to squeeze and hold it. Try it yourself and hold it as hard as you can for a minute. What happened for this golfer was that his arm and hand fatigued, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't completely destroy it.  

Crushing the foil is your human reaction. But you don't have to. You can respond and accept that it happened. You can get a grip and switch to problem solving. If you go so far as to crush the foil, you can flatten it again, but it doesn't go back to its original smooth state. No matter what you do, there are going to be imperfections in the foil when you take it out. But that doesn't mean it can't do its job.  

Don't crush the foil. View your human reaction as normal and as information, not instruction.  Take a spin at problem solving instead. Use the energy your body creates to meet the challenge of the next shot.  

Mental Fitness Fridays

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