Many elite competitors believe success in their sport is 90% mental. Having a strong mental game is equally as important as being technically strong (if not more).
How can we work on our mental abilities for success?
In With Winning in Mind, Lanny Bassham, Olympic Gold Medalist in Rifle Shooting, provide us a framework for improve our mental strength.
Early in his career, Lanny Bassham realized all the practice in the world wouldn’t matter if he didn’t have the right mental management system in place during competitions.
Once he started focusing on his mental game, he won multiple gold medals and proved his strategy of mental strength worked.
Over the years, Bassham has trained multiple athletes and professionals. Through his methods, he has produced many winners. I was interested in With Winning in Mind because I’m consistently looking for an edge in life, and also want to develop a strong mental game to complement my other skills.
In this post, I’ll share with you a book summary of With Winning in Mind, some takeaways from With Winning in Mind, and my book recommendation for you.
Mental management is the process of improving the probability of having a consistent mental performance, under pressure, on demand.
Book Summary of With Winning in Mind
In With Winning in Mind, Lanny Bassham starts by describing the three parts crucial for mental performance.
The three parts critical for a successful mental game are the following:
- Conscious Mind
- The Conscious Mind is what you use when you visualize or think during a competition.
- Subconscious Mind
- The Subconscious Mind is utilized when you become proficient, the concept of “not having to think about a task”.
- A person’s Self-Image is how you think about yourself. If you believe in yourself, you have a positive Self-Image and are able to succeed at a high level.
By working on these three areas, you will be able to become stronger mentally and perform better.
Lanny Bassham’s Mental Management System
Over the years, Bassham reformed his methodologies and strategies and has came up with a system, The Mental Management System.
The Mental Management System looks to grow each of the 3 parts of Mental Performance.
When the Conscious Mind, the Subconscious Mind, and the Self-Image are in balance, you will have your best performances. If any one of those are out of balance, your performance will suffer.
In With Winning in Mind, Bassham gives you concrete steps to get you to the next level of mental performance.
The Nine Principles of Mental Management
With the framework of the Conscious Mind, Subconscious Mind, and the Self-Image in place, Bassham talks about the Nine Principles of Mental Management:
- Your Conscious Mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
- What you say is not important. What you cause yourself or others to picture is crucial.
- The Subconscious Mind is the source of all mental power.
- The Self-Image moves you to do what the Conscious Mind is picturing.
- Self-Image and performance are always equal.
- To change your performance, you must first change your Self-Image.
- You can replace the Self-Image you have with the Self-Image you want, thereby permanently changing performance.
- The Principle of Reinforcement: The more we think about, talk about and write about something happening, we improve the probability of that thing happening.
- The Self-Image cannot tell the difference between what actually happens and what is vividly imagined.
- The Principle of Value: We appreciate things in direct proportion to the price we pay for them.
The most important principle is #5: your Self-Image and performance are always equal.
If you don’t believe you can do a task, then you won’t be able to do it. If you have a positive Self-Image and know it is “like you” to be able to do something, then you will do it with ease.
Tap into the Power of Affirmations
Many people lack in the Self-Image component of the three mental components.
With this said, it’s possible to grow your Self-Image. Through affirmations and visualization, you can grow your Self-Image. You can improve your situation and replace your current Self-Image with the one you want.
If you want to become a world class athlete, tell yourself you are one. Tell yourself you can lift heavy weights, run fast, and are agile.
It is important to reinforce the positives vs. focusing on the negatives. If you focus on the errors, you reinforce that it is “like you” to make errors.
Focusing on the positives and saying, “It’s like me to be successful and it’s like me to be able to do it”, you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.
Mental management comes down to focusing on the task at hand consciously, having and trusting your ability to perform the task subconsciously, and knowing it is “like you” to do the task.
By having a balance between your conscious and subconscious minds, and your self-image, you can succeed in anything you do.
Takeaways from With Winning in Mind
With every book you read, it is a must to have takeaways and actionable items to implement in life.
The main takeaway from With Winning in Mind for me is the power of affirmations and the importance of a strong Self-Image.
If you don’t believe in yourself, then you won’t reach your goals. If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything you want in life.
Another takeaway is the power of visualization. The brain cannot tell the difference between what is occurring in reality and what is occurring in your imagination.
If you visualize yourself acing an interview, crushing the competition, or negotiating a raise, you can trick your brain into actually believing you did these things successfully.
Having a strong mental game is as important as having any other skill. It’s important to work on your mental abilities and tap into your full potential.
Our Recommendation for With Winning in Mind
With Winning in Mind is a must read for you if you want to improve your mental game.
You will be presented a strategy for mental performance which is concrete and attainable. With Winning in Mind is not your typical self-help book, and will help you complement your existing self improvement practices.
If you are struggling with the mental side of competition and are looking to improve your current mental game, I’d highly recommend picking up With Winning in Mind.
Do you ever struggle in competitions with your mental game? What do you do to re-focus? What are some of your goals for this year?