Driving with the Emergency Brake


Imagine driving a high performance car, say a Lamborghini, on a race track. You start the car and you begin to drive. You give it more gas, you shift gears, and your speed climbs. You feel your car moving faster and faster until all of a sudden…you hit a plateau. Your speed remains constant well below the cars known potential. You become frustrated, you get angry, and you search for the problem. Your pedal is to the floor. Check. You are in the highest gear. Check. You seem to be doing everything within your power to push the car to its top speed. You look down, and you finally notice…You are driving with the Emergency Brake!

Many, if not most athletes have at least another 2 or 3 unused gears inside them. Gears that are very available, but they are not using them. Some athletes need to learn how to really push themselves to their max.  Usually they need a coach to help them with goal setting, and pushing them to new levels they did not think were possible. One great way to experience your next gear is to do the 50/50 ball drill.  Coach rolls out a ball and two players take off at exactly the same time to get the ball, take it down the field and score.  This is a great drill to instill competitive drive and encourage players to become more aggressive.

In other cases, an athlete does feel they are giving their absolute all. As an athlete, I always hated it when coaches would tell me that I was just about ready to, “turn that corner.” This is frustrating to an athlete who is trying to do everything within his or her power to properly prepare for their sport. Usually, players don’t know what that magic ingredient is that they are missing.

The good news is: Most athletes are not lacking any ability, they are just blocking it. If you are putting in hours and hours of time into preparation and you know deep down that you are better than your performance shows, you too are blocking it. There is no corner to turn. You are already there. You just need to learn how to release the emergency brake.

There are 4 main jobs of all sport psychologists, life coaches, personal trainers etc. (1) Help the person decide what they want (2) Map out a plan to get there (3) Get the person to take action and (4) help the person step out of their own way. In essence, unblock themselves. 

If you are already doing steps 1-3 on your own and are not getting the results you deserve, you only need to learn how to unblock yourself. It is simple IF, repeat IF, you take proper action and train your mind.

Many soccer players have mental blocks that are preventing them from releasing the emergency break.  Typically the break stays on when athletes are too nervous or allow fear of losing or making mistakes to be a central thought.  Attempting to perform perfectly also will block a player from performing at their peak. Your mindset coach can help you learn how to release a mental block!

They will help you determine, step by step, what is blocking your performance from being at its peak. Perhaps you need to work on relaxing under pressure, aggressiveness, or confidence.  Over time, you will see your game and mental toughness skyrocket in sports, school, and life!

Release the emergency brake and take your performance to your potential.