High crotch…

Yesterday, during practice 25 with a team of grapplers, I pulled some of the secret sauce out of Tervel’s head. I planned this practice and pulled it off to near perfection. Tervel didn’t even want to participate as he was late and playing along made him later. I simply had “shoot in my eyes,” and he couldn’t resist being with a believer. So, he played along for ten, enlightening moments. I asked him how he prepares for practice. After asking, I simply tuned in and went wherever he chose to go. FM, baby. On the drive over he plays his plan out in his head. He primes his mind. I asked him for an example of one such plan. Little did I know where this was going…

“High crotch,” he told me without thinking. Hearing these words struck my funny bone and without thinking, I hiked my jeans up until they were bunched around my crotch, uncomfortably so. I told the team of laughing grapplers that this is my “mental representation” of working on “high crotch.” You see, I’m not a grappler and don’t know what those words mean. Turning the focus to them, I asked if they knew what Tervel meant and could they picture the move in their mind. Universally, they nodded in agreement. I then asked Tervel to tell me more about the picture in his mind regarding the words high crotch. He painted the picture in minute detail. His practice is focused on small, seemingly insignificant details that the trigger words “high crotch” visualize in his mind. I didn’t know Tervel was going to say exactly what he said, but I had a really good idea. Tervel is going for gold in Brazil this coming August and his mindset more than his physical plant is the key. The same is true for you if your aim is to become elite.

Elite performers have more detailed “mental representation” than normal folks. The perfect “high crotch” move is in their minds eye, perfectly clear. When Jason Day closes his eyes before addressing the golf ball he is playing a “mental representation” of the perfect shot right before the moment of contact. He doesn’t do this before big shots. Jason does this before every shot. He does this when he practices too. Jason’s mental representation is like a super focused lens that sees the very blade of grass he’s aiming for. Tervel’s too. Elite performers prepare for practice the same way they prepare for big events. The consitency is calming. Elite prepare before they hit the range or the mat. On the drive over, they begin to prepare the mind for what they’re gonna ask the body to follow. Same is true for those of you who  work in an office. The sale is made, most of the time, in your preparation. The more clearly you see your perfect presentation, the clearer your mental representation  and the calmer your mind. The calmer the mind, the more you’ll execute your plan even on those days when Tervel throws a wrench in your best laid plans. The perfect picture for BTL practice, yesterday, certainly wasn’t the way it played out, at least not in my mind.

However, as practice wrapped up, one grappler couldn’t wait to tell me how much he learned. He was already planning how to gift wrap the learning  for one of his absent teammates. He had a picture in his mind and clearly saw his way forward. I laughed and we fist bumped as he skipped out of practice. Then it hit me. This grappler just finished finals as a senior, yesterday. He is far from gone.  I don’t know where this is going but it’s going to be good. Elite prepare. Elite have more clarity in the mental representations than most. Elite attract more elite. Elite don’t know what’s gonna happen when plans meet reality. Elite simply bury the fear with more love and curiosity. Good.

High crotch. Who knew…


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