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Remember the Coin- a mental training exercise for sports and business
Sport Psychology offers mental training exercises for the athlete within you. The athlete within you can also be a business person, entrepreneur or any other professional. This is part one of a series.
This is an exercise I use with athletes that is applicable to my business clients as well. I’m saving the explanation and discussion until after people have had the opportunity to fail a few times trying to complete the offered challenge.
So here is an exercise I would like you to try. Take a ruler or tape measure. Grab a piece of paper and something to write with. On the paper measure seven (7) inches and draw a line. Mark it in one inch increments like I have more or less drawn below.
Now you are just about ready for one of the toughest exercises you will ever be asked to complete as part of your mental game training. The only thing you need now is a quarter or some marker like say a poker chip. Place the paper somewhere in a room. Now I’m going to ask you not to cheat on this. Please don’t put it right in front of your computer, by the remote control for the TV or your Xbox. This is sort of the opposite of the instructions I would give you if this were a goal setting exercise. In goal setting I want you to be able to see your goals easily and more or less run into them all of the time. With this exercise I would like you to put the paper somewhere less in your path. You don’t necessarily need to hide it in a drawer or behind a moat infested with alligators (well that would make it interesting), but just not where you see it casually.
The next step is to place your coin, marker or poker chip on the first mark. Only if you are neurotic does it matter if you start on the right or left (top or bottom). What I want you to do is each day after the first is to flip the coin over so it sits on the next line. You may only flip the marker once each day. If (or when, I should say) you forget to move the coin you need to start over. It might be a good idea to mark the first line with the day you start.
Generally 80 percent of you will fail the first time. Another 10 percent will lie and say they did it correctly even though they forgot a day or two. Around ten percent will get it right. Remember, one turn only once per day. If you forget a day you restart.
The exercise has deeper meanings. It has been very useful in a number of areas working with athletes and business clients. It is simple, yet complicated. If you dare, try and complete the task without trying to discern its real meaning. It's just an assignment. Do try and complete the task. Remember there is meaning in failure as well as success.
Have fun with this, teach it to some friends. In around ten days I will post the purpose of this valuable exercise. You’ll love it even when you fail.
Learn more about the author, Mike Margolies.
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- mental game
- mental training
- sport psychology