Psycho-Cybernetics Part 25 of 30: Shadow Boxing & The Clutch Play

June 16, 2009 by  

johnny-781229Why do some athletes shine when they are put to the test and when the clutch play is all stakes, winner take all?  Why do some athletes do well in practice rounds but fold when the pressure is on?  Why do we think in our mind, “Oh, there were a thousand things I should have said but didn’t think to say them until afterward.”  Or, “I really should have done better in that situation.  I don’t know why I did such a poor job.”  

We are in many respects like athletes.  We have certain clutch plays that we need to perform our best whether professionally or socially.  How do we do that well when the time comes?  First, a great suggestion is to shadow box.  To role play.  To go over in your mind’s theatre over and over the scenario so that when it happens it becomes almost second nature.  Why is it that when a real fire occurs, that it requires so much more travail to get out of the building whereas for those who practiced it calmly in the setting of a fire drill can walk out the right exit without a problem in the time of crisis because they practiced?  When one holds an empty gun, the hand can be raised and shoot at a target effortlessly.  But once the gun is full of live ammo, the hand shakes and misfires.  But with steady practice over and over, the hand steadies and there is no problem.

Besides shadow boxing, we can also convert our fear and anxiety over to a positive emotion, excitement.  Before Johnny Carson went on stage every night for the Tonight Show, he was petrified and “hyper”.  He got himself psyched up before going out.  Most individuals who are ready to perform on stage need a little butterflies to make the performance better, to make the mind clearer and the tongue sharper.  I myself use that trick before I make a public speech.  I really don’t get “nervous” anymore even in front of thousands of people but I do start to psych myself up before hitting the stage so that I am fully energized.  It brings me clarity of mind and purpose that comes to athletes and performers when the time of crisis hits them.  Practice shadow boxing before some major event you will be encountering and convert fear and anxiety into a deep excitement that you can leverage to your advantage.

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5 Responses to “Psycho-Cybernetics Part 25 of 30: Shadow Boxing & The Clutch Play”

  1. Anonymous on June 16th, 2009 7:03 am

    Very good. Read this an hour ago and have mulled it over. (App. to many themes covered here…) Maybe we unwittingly ‘learn’ or become brainwashed in our course of life to respond with fear, or presumption that something will be difficult/challenging in a way we’re not up to. I liked best your words: convert our fear and anxiety over to a positive emotion, excitement. Why not?! There ARE times in life to experience anxiety/fear, just not in all ways we may be doing so, thinking we don’t have a choice when we do have a choice, some influence over a matter.

  2. dr. lam on June 16th, 2009 10:29 am

    profound! thanks for the comment.

  3. Heather :) on June 16th, 2009 6:52 pm

    Wow, Dr. Lam, how can you not get nervous speaking in front of thousands of people?!!

    Yes, great idea of converting fear and anxiety into excitement. Very good point about getting psyched up to perform better. I really like that.

    I find that instead of worrying about how I am going to do something that it works better for me to not even think about it, and then when I just do it and let it come, it all works out just find, and this can go for anything for me. Just a thought, but definitely practicing or preparing for something helps one achieve greater results.

    Great blog, Dr. Lam!! :)

  4. dr. lam on June 16th, 2009 7:20 pm

    thanks heather. trust me i was DEATHLY nervous the first 100 times i was in front of an audience. like many things in life, you get over it and as you say “works better for me to not even think about it.” i just get in the moment. thanks everyone for the great comments today!

  5. KonstantinMiller on July 6th, 2009 2:48 pm

    I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

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