For this week, I thought it might be important to go over a largely overlooked aspect of ultimate, and any sport really; the mental game. What I mean by this is the way players can get in their heads and overthink thinks or maybe not be able to find the right mindset going into a game, tournament or even just when approaching a singular play. This is something that is not easily fixed but yet makes the biggest difference on and off the field. Many players, including myself, struggle with this which hinders a players ability to reach their full potential. The most important aspect of the mental game would have to be confidence. It really doesn’t matter the size or skill of a player when they do not have any confidence. Without confidence no player can perform anywhere near their best. On the other hand, even an unskilled player can make great plays in unlikely situations. Though this is not an easy thing to fix, I think one way to get out of this funk would be to keep playing. through playing 1 big play could take you out of this rut and possibly just gain some confidence from seeing other players. Though running through the motions is not always the preferred method of finding your confidence it could be helpful for some players. Another thing to do would be possibly to talk to someone. If you are feeling like your play is lacking then you could ask a leader on your team to help you with some things you are struggling with. this could absolutely help you feel better about yourself for the next time you step on the field. Some random quotes that I have sen when talking about confidence are a little corny but still worth thinking about to help with one’s mental space. The first is from Confucius and is actually on my mind very often. “The man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t are both correct.” I think this is a simple but powerful quote, it makes a good point about how important it is to believe in yourself because if you do not, you will be right. This will just lead to furthering your lack of confidence in yourself to a place where it may not be able to come back from. The next quote is “Do not speak badly of yourself. The warrior within hears your words and is lessened by them.” Basically this quote is saying something very similar to the other and it is that you must have confidence in yourself to perform at your best. Your warrior within would be the type of player you are on the field and if you feed that warrior with positivity and confidence you will see the outcome on and off the field.
Below I posted a highlight video for Michael Ing, who is a player for Pitt that exhibits a lot of confidence and fearlessness on the field.