Highlights from the episode:
- What does peak performance look and feel like
- His philosophy on educating athletes struggling to move on after making a mistake
- Habits to help with concentration
- How coaches and support staff can help athletes reach peak performance
- Apps and resources for teaching athletes mindfulness and peak performance
Alex Auerbach is a renowned sport psychologist who has been working with the Toronto Raptors basketball team since 2017. In his role as the team’s mental performance coach, Auerbach helps the athletes to achieve peak performance by guiding them through their psychological and emotional challenges. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the highlights from Auerbach’s podcast, where he talks about his philosophy on peak performance, educating athletes struggling to move on after making a mistake, habits to help with concentration, how coaches and support staff can help athletes reach peak performance, and apps and resources for teaching athletes’ mindfulness and peak performance.
What does peak performance look and feel like?
According to Auerbach, peak performance is not just about winning. It is about athletes reaching their highest potential, both mentally and physically. Peak performance is about staying focused, confident, and composed, even in the most challenging situations. When an athlete is in a state of peak performance, they feel fully engaged, energized, and in control of their performance. They are not distracted by their surroundings or their emotions, and they can execute their skills with precision and ease.
Auerbach believes that peak performance is achievable for all athletes, regardless of their skill level or experience. However, achieving peak performance requires a lot of hard work and dedication, both on and off the court. It requires athletes to focus on their mental and emotional health, as well as their physical health. It also requires athletes to develop healthy habits and routines that support their overall well-being.
Educating athletes struggling to move on after making a mistake
One of the biggest challenges that athletes face is moving on from a mistake or a failure. Many athletes struggle with self-doubt and negative self-talk, which can affect their performance and their ability to bounce back from a setback. Auerbach believes that it is essential to educate athletes about how to move on from a mistake and to develop a growth mindset.
A growth mindset is the belief that skills and abilities can be developed through hard work and dedication. Athletes with a growth mindset are more likely to bounce back from a setback, as they see failures as an opportunity to learn and improve. Auerbach encourages athletes to focus on the process of learning and to celebrate small victories along the way.
Habits to help with concentration
Concentration is essential for peak performance. When athletes are focused, they can execute their skills with precision and make split-second decisions. However, concentration can be challenging, especially in high-pressure situations. Auerbach recommends developing habits to help with concentration.
One of the habits that Auerbach recommends is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and observing one’s thoughts and emotions without judgment. Auerbach believes that mindfulness meditation can help athletes to develop a greater sense of awareness and focus, which can enhance their performance on the court.
Auerbach also recommends developing pre-performance routines that help athletes to get in the zone. These routines can include physical warm-ups, visualization exercises, and positive affirmations. By developing these habits, athletes can train their minds to focus on the task at hand and block out distractions.
How coaches and support staff can help athletes reach peak performance
Coaches and support staff play a vital role in helping athletes to achieve peak performance. Auerbach believes that coaches and support staff should focus on creating a positive and supportive environment that encourages athletes to reach their highest potential.
One of the ways that coaches and support staff can help athletes is by providing feedback and encouragement. Auerbach believes that feedback should be specific, actionable, and focused on the process of learning. Coaches and support staff should also celebrate small victories and provide encouragement, even in the face of setbacks.
Coaches and support staff can also help athletes to develop healthy habits and routines that
Apps and resources for teaching athletes mindfulness and peak performance
One of the mindfulness apps Auerbach recommends is Headspace, which offers a range of guided meditations and mindfulness exercises designed to help people manage stress and improve focus. He also recommends the app Calm, which offers similar resources along with sleep aids and relaxation techniques.
But mindfulness is just one aspect of Auerbach’s approach to sports psychology. He also works with his athletes to help them develop a growth mindset, which involves seeing challenges as opportunities for growth rather than obstacles to be avoided. A growth mindset can help athletes stay motivated and focused, even when they face setbacks or challenges.
To help his athletes develop a growth mindset, Auerbach uses a range of tools and resources, including books, podcasts, and online courses. One of the books he recommends is Mindset by Carol Dweck, which explores the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and offers strategies for developing the latter.
Jack McLean is the founder of Prepare Like a Pro. He loves coaching people so that they can reach their personal/professional goals and become the best that they can possibly be. He is currently the Strength & Rehab Coach of Melbourne Football Club and has worked as Strength & Conditioning Coach at Hawthorn Football Club. Jack is a Level 3 Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and Professional Coach and a Level 1 Australian Weightlifting Federation Coach.