6 mental game cliche’s

There are tons of cliche’s in sports. This list of 6 cliche’s surround the mental game. A few are accurate and some of the mental game cliche’s are just actually used in the wrong context.

Take it one game at a time:

This is so true, but it has actually lost the luster as a cliché’. I hope we can have an athlete jokingly state just once “ we are focused on four games at a time.” Or a golfer state, “I was focused on playing six holes at a time.”

Do or die mentality:
This mental game cliché is simply a lie. No one will actually die if a team loses, we may FEEL like it for 24 hours, or longer if you’re a Cubs fan, but no one actually dies. Making something bigger than it actually is, only adds undue, unnecessary, pressure.

Locker room material:
This cliché’ seemingly relates back to motivation, namely something external on the wall, in which another player predicted a win, or dissed us in some fashion. You know what? This one actually works, but not as motivation. It channels our focus! It enhances our focus and ensures that we focus our attention not on the results of possibly losing, but only on  doing what it takes to win.

Riding the wave of momentum:
Even though research has showed the momentum is psychological and not actually real, we still believe in it. I believe in it as well, up to a point. We can have momentum within a game, but it rarely carries over into the next game. So when announcers state this team or person is riding a wave of momentum, from game to game, they are actually referring to a team playing with confidence and belief, not momentum.

Thanking God:
On one hand, professional athletes are self-centered (they kind of have to be), but when professional athletes give thanks or credit to God (someone other than themselves), some cringe. Well, we as fans, can’t have it both ways. When athletes thank God, and profess their faith, it is actually stating one’s humbleness. They are not shouting that God favored them on the field over their opponent or that god actually made the catch or the shot go in. They are thanking God for the opportunity and the ability.

Drink The Kool-Aid: How many people even realize that this quote refers to the Jonestown mass suicide of over 900 people ? Or in a lighter sense, a group of merry pranksters just riding on a school bus consuming acid. Yet, it is thrown around in the context of people “getting on the bus” or “being a team player”, or “buying in”…Whenever it is used, it is just wrong…

Dr. Rob Bell is the author of Mental Toughness Training for Golf, an AASP certified Sport Psychology consultant, and caddy on tour. He consults with athletes, coaches, and teams at all levels helping build and enhance their own mental toughness.  His website is www.drrobbell.com and you can find him on Twitter @drrobbell,


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Dr. Rob Bell

Ahoy! I'm Dr. Rob Bell. Your Mental Toughness coach. Be The BEST at Getting BETTER. Will your Hinge connect?
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