Sporting Mum – You’ve got this!

We are now in another lockdown which seems to be going on indefinitely. I was going to gloat in my original blog this week and tell you how clever I was. I bought extra sport and games supplies at the beginning of the school holidays (coinciding with the lockdown restrictions) which has kept us active for the last 5 weeks now.

Instead, I am focusing on something a little deeper, highlighting the power of ‘positive self-talk’. The lockdown this time around has seemed a little harder for everyone here in Sydney. I have tried to start each day with a smile (yes not always a natural one) and think about all the things I am grateful for in my life. When I listen to the new Covid-19 cases rising each day, I would be lying if I said the smile remained. However, just like the newfound Aussie inspiration of ‘Patrick Tiernam’, when his body gave up on him, he struggled onwards until he reached the finish line. Even though you have given it all you’ve got, ‘Don’t give up’!

My mother used to say, “your mind is a powerful thing”. God rest her soul, she was so right with so many things. It is your mind and determination that will get you through and will keep you on track. Athletes use it all the time regardless of their ability. As a sprinter, I always managed to go out too fast in the 400m and struggled the last 50m. If I had a $1 for all the times I said to myself “You got this”, as I could feel the lactic acid start to build up in my legs, I would have been very rich by now!

I am sure you have experienced it in sport and/or life where you have been a bit unsure about your ability and you have heard a coach, team member, parent, friend or boss say “You’ve got this”. There is an instant boost to your morale and your self-talk changes to “Yeh, I CAN do this!”

Self-talk is what we say to ourselves in the heat-of-the-moment based on the way we automatically interpret different situations. We need to be mindful that not all self-talk is positive and be able to do what sport psychologists call “reframe” your thought process. Quite often when I notice my negative self-talk, I think to myself, “Is that how you would talk to your friend?”. Someone reminded me the other day, if you can’t be nice to yourself, how can you expect others to?

There are many benefits to the effective use of positive self-talk. It can improve performance by helping you regulate your feelings, thoughts, and energy about events that occur. From a sports perspective, positive self-talk can help you feel confident, improve coordination, control fine motor skills, enhance your focus, and perform better at endurance events too. *

When you notice that you’re talking negatively about yourself, stop that talk and ‘reframe it’ with a positive statement. Think about your goals, stay focused, use positive self talk to get you through.

My message to all my friends and followers out there is, “Hang in there, you’ve got this”!

 

*Hatzigeorgiadis, A., & Biddle, S. J. H. (2008). Negative self-talk during sport performance: Relationships with pre-competition anxiety and goal-performance discrepancies. Journal of Sport Behavior, 31(3), 237–253.; Shoham, V., & Rohrbaugh, M. (2016). Interrupting ironic processes. Psychological Science, 8(3), 151–153. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1997.tb00400.x; Theodorakis, Y., Hatzigeorgiadis, A., & Chroni, S. (2008). Self-talk: It works, but how? Development and preliminary validation of the functions of self-talk questionnaire. Measurement in Physical Education and Exercise Science, 12(1), 10–30. doi:10.1080/10913670701715158 ; Tod, D., Hardy, J., & Oliver, E. (2011). Effects of self-talk: A systematic review. J Sport Exerc Psychol, 33(5), 666–687. doi:10.1123/jsep.33.5.666

Yvette Audet

Yvette Audet

Sport has been an integral part of my life, both work and personal. I grew up with sport, met my husband through sport and now as a mother, am involved more than ever in sport!

As a trainer and consultant in the industry I work with sporting groups and councils to create community facilities and partnerships aimed to increase sport participation.

I have created a range of articles from the perspective of a SPORTING MUM. The articles relate life skills and messages that we can get from being involved in sport. It’s uncanny how Sport can mirror life.

BIO

Involved in gymnastics, netball and athletics from an early age, Yvette experienced being part of a team as well as the unrelentless discipline in individual sport – in particular her Heptathlon days.

First became a mum in 2005 and remembers having the inner debate of how long should I play netball while pregnant? Doing quick breastfeeds in between netball games and hoping her uterus wouldn’t feel like falling out when she jumped for the ball.

Funny anecdotes aside, she has worked in the sport and recreation industry for almost 30 years and holds several certificates and degrees around the management and training of sport, community recreation, aquatics and fitness.

Through her various roles in profit and non-profit sectors, she has helped plan for programs, events and facilities to help get communities active through sport and recreation.

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