With Winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham
The mental Management System
This week we have one of my favorite books on mental training and mental toughness, “With Winning in Mind”, by Lanny Bassham. Lanny is an Olympic champion and 2-time champion and the creator of “The Mental Management System”.
Even though the first edition of this book was written in 1988, over 30 years ago, the strategies, tools and lesson from Lanny are as relevant today as ever, especially in this era of constant interruption and stress.
I highly recommend you buy this book; you can read in in a couple of days but these strategies are priceless.
You can visit Lanny´s site here, https://mentalmanagement.com/
What Lanny teaches correlates very closely to what other sports phycologists, as Jason Selk (10-Minute Toughness mental training) also teach, which is you can´t underperform or outperform your self-image for very long. Your self-image is your identity.
The easiest way to change your self-image is though constructive self-talk. Until you don’t change the way you talk to yourself about yourself and about your future, most likely will not be able to make permanent changes.
Jason Selk uses the identity statement. Lanny uses something similar, what he calls “the direct affirmation”. I like both of them, the direct affirmation is an awesome system for writing goals. You can read at the bottom of this summary/essay.
Extensive research shows that an athlete´s internal dialog significantly affects his self-image and therefore his performance. How you talk to yourself makes a huge difference in every area of your life. And it’s not only for athletes, but for every human alive; how you talk to yourself affects your self-image, your performance and your life.
Your self-image needs to BELIEVE “It’s Like You” to win. In other words, this is who you are. One great way to do this is by picturing a winning performance every time you train.
So the question is, what percentage of your time and money you spend on training the mental game? Most people´s answer is close to ZERO.
Mental practice alone cannot replace physical training, but it’s a great and necessary complement.
And always remember, the best of the best, the elite, have an UNCOMMON PERSISTENCE that sometimes defies explanation. Adversity creates a special form of motivation in people. Adversity can ignite a special power inside of you, and this power, many times can´t be ignited without the corresponding adversity.
MY FAVORITE BOOKS ON MENTAL TRAINING AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS:
If you are looking for other exceptional books on mental training as well as mental toughness here are my favorites, the ones I have personally read:
Download Now my TotalSuccess App, Your Daily Medicine against being “average”, for my most important ideas about these exceptional books. This app will help you develop the ultimate vision for your life and steps to get there.
- How Champions think by Dr Bob Rotella
- The Champion´s Mind, by Jim Afremov
- With winning in Mind, by Lanny Bassham
- Chasing Excellence, by Ben Bergeron
- Mind Gym, by Gary Mack
- Tom Coughlin, by him
- No Limits, by Michael Phelps
- Relentless by Tim Grover
- Unbeatable Mind, by Mark Divine
- Get the Life You Want, by Richard Bandler.
- Can´t Hurt Me, by David Goggins
- Make Your Bed, by Admiral William H- McRaven
- Be Obssesed or Be Average by Grant Cardone
- The 10X Rule, by Grant Cardone
I keep updating this list regularly….
Here are so awesome ideas and tools from this awesome book,
In order for you to become everything you are capable of becoming you need to master your mental game. Negativity is the most destructive force and something that will prevent you from becoming your best and creating your ultimate life. To reach your goals you need mental consistency
- About 95% of all winning is done by 5% of the participants. (this goes with Pareto´s 80/20 rule).
- The primary think that separates the winners from the losers is HOW they think. Winners are CONVINCED they will finish first. They are convinced there is no other possibility but to win (Gold medalist Darrel Pace used to tell his friends, “I wonder where they keep my medal”, “Everyone is after my medal but they can’t keep it away from me”). The others hope they will finish first. It’s a completely different mind-set (Connor McGregor even says when he is going to knock the other guy out)
- Having outcome goals is important but as important are the process goals. Process goals are about improving, about making great execution. the process is necessary to achieve the goal, but starts with process. Scoring, and winning is a function of great execution.——————————-
- Over trying and over thinking can destroy great execution. You have to trust your training, your subconscious. After interviewing 100´s of Olympic and World Champions Lanny found that winners don’t think about anything when having winning performances.
- There are many ways to win besides scoring the highest, you win when you learn, grow, when you become better. We learn more from our struggles up the mountain than by standing on the summit. Don’t look only at the score, look and evaluate your process. Have the goal to have a winning performance (process oriented), not only winning the competition.—————————————
- 3-KEY PARTS TO YOURSELF, AND YOUR SUCCESS:Your Conscious Mind; contains your thoughts, and mental pictures. You always have a tough or a mental picture even while resting. It controls all your senses.Your Subconscious Mind: The source of your skills and power to perform. Great performances are done subconsciously, without much conscious thought (this is what Tim Grover defends in his great book, “Relentless”)
Once a skill can be performed without conscious thought, it becomes a subconscious skill.Your Self-Image:The self-image makes you act “like you”. It’s your internal thermostat. It´s the total of your habits and attitudes. Your performance and your self-image tend to be equal. You can´t under or over perform your self-image very long. This is the most important of the three because the self-image and success are directly related. Your self-image is a PROCESS UNDER CONSTRUCTION, it’s always adapting and changing. This is why it´s so important to imprint images of how you want to be or achieve.The self-image and conscious mind are always communicating.
Every time we think about something or attempt to do something, it creates an IMPRINT in your self-image. This imprint is stored in the self-image.When you are performing at your best you are experiencing a flow, this is what Lanny calls “The Triad State”.—————————–
- Your conscious mind can only concentrate on one think at a time.
You can´t have a positive thought and a negative at the same time (but you can have contradictory thoughts almost at the same time, as when you try to visualize something but there is a little voice that says no way, well actually there is one thought a time, that’s what I believe Lanny refers to)————————–
- What you say is not important. What you cause yourself or others to picture is crucial. In other words, what you actually say is not as important as the images your words convey. When you say, “don’t think of a pink elephant” this exactly is the image you are creating; a pink elephant.————————-
- The subconscious mind is the source of all your mental power. Skill is defined as doing something consciously long enough for the process to become automated by your subconscious mind.————————
- The self-image moved you to do whatever the conscious mind is picturing(this is so true, if I am tired at the end of the day, but I image myself doing in the next few second 10 pushups, this image will take me to do 10 pushups, it’s amazing).Self-image and performance tend to be equal, in order to change performance, you need to change self-image. You can change the self-image you have with the self-image you want, therefore changing performance.NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNTIL YOU CHANGE THE SELF-IMAGE FIRST.————————————-
- PRINCIPLE OF REINFORCEMENT: This is one of the most important principles.
Every time you think about something happening, you improve the probabilities of this happening. So, be careful with what you think and picture.if you are thinking and worrying you will fail your next exam, you improve the probabilities of that happening. You are creating and imprinting self-images about you failing. It is not what you want, but you are creating this outcome.
The more you think about something, talk about something, and write about something happening, the more probabilities this “something” has to happen (I would include, the more you watch or listen about this “something”, the more probabilities these actions add to the equation)THE MORE YOU TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU DID WRONG, THE MORE PROBABILITIES YOU HAVE OF DOING IT AGAIN. You are reinforcing that action by talking about it (unless you do it from a constructive way by focusing on what you need to improve). You reinforce bad results by talking about them.You better talk about your good shots, about your achievements, your comebacks. You will reinforce for them to happen again.BE CAREFUL NOT TO COMPLAIN. Complaining is negative reinforcement. When you are getting angry for a bad shot you are reinforcing having more bad shots. Remember something that you did well instead.Give POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT IN ADVANCE. Lanny calls it “Positive Prediction”. It’s a compliment you give in advance for a future action.
Compliment every one about everything you like about them, and you will reinforce those actions and habits. Things like, “I appreciate you”, I appreciate the excellent job you do. Be specific.PRAISE GOOD PERFORMANCES and you will have more good performances. They will repeat themselves. Constantly praise good performances, good actions, good will.People are not used to hearing what’s good. Most of us are expecting problems and complains.CATCH YOURSELF DOING SOMETHING RIGHT. This will reinforce the action and you will repeat it. Ask yourself, what did I do right? And if it wasn’t a good shot or action, what do I need to do to make it good?THINK ABOUT, TALK ABOUT AND WRITE ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE (in addition to seeing, listening and watching things that represent what you want. For example, if you want to have an airplane, having a miniature one on your desk will also help yourself having one. You can do it with pictures of what you want too to constantly remind yourself and your mind of your goal)
Positive imaging is one of the MOST powerful tools in your arsenal.
You can do it anywhere anytime, under any conditions.The self-image cannot tell the difference between what actually happens and what is vividly imagined. Imagination is extremely powerful.The easiest is the “Next Image”, whatever you are doing, imagine your next action in a successful, wining way.Before training, during training and after training is also very powerful to d mental rehearsal.The great things about creating positive images is that not only improved performance, but at the same time you are neutralizing negative thinking and images.
- Whenever you are BE ALL THERE. People´s attention are fractioned, with the smartphones it’s hard to have a 10-minute conversation without interruptions. When you are somewhere, be all you there, not only part of you. A fragmented you is a highly stressed you.
- EVALUATE YOURSELF:
Constantly evaluate yourself, what are you doing right and how can you do it better. You MUST have a performance journal. This journal will prevent you from being average and losing time. This is not a regular journal or diary but one dedicated to making improvements. Don’t coach anyone without the commitment to write a performance journal.How are you going to know if you are improving or getting better without recording your progress?This is not only to record information but to record progress. The more you write and record your progress the faster you will advance. The principle of reinforcement works on your factor when you use a journal.It’s not acceptable to make the same mistakes over and over and it´s not acceptable to beat yourself up.My TotalSuccess App is probably the best tool for this online. Go to turboday.com to download it there.
What do you think when you re performing?
what do you think when you are under pressure?
What makes you able to win when others fail?
what percentage of your time and money you spend on training the mental game?
what did I do right?
And if it wasn’t a good shot or action, what do I need to do to make it good?
We learn more from our struggles up the mountain than by standing on the summit.
If you can define a thing you can duplicate it. If you can duplicate it, you can achieve mental consistency. If you have mental consistency, you can win.
If you think you can or you can´t, you are right!
MOST VALUABLE FROM THE BOOK:
This whole book is a must read, but there are several critical strategies and ideas that are awesome, easy and fun to practice them. Some I made a little twist myself.
The constant rehearsal or visualization you can do before and after training, or during the day! This affects massively your self-image.
This can take only minutes to do, even seconds. This can be applied to any person any time. Don’t need to compete in the Olympics. Here you rehearse you next move or action, or future achievements.
The BEST time to do mental rehearsal is just before and after the action or the training. This will cause three imprints, 2 imagined and one physical.
Remember, you are always imprinting. Changing a self-image that is keeping you from achieving what you want is one of the most important skills you can develop.
If you are training, every time you are going to train, you visualize your training, and after you did you also rehearse that training. That way you get 3 trainings in one shot. It doesn’t take much time or much energy to do. It’s just developing the habit to do it.
You can do it regardless what are you doing or where you are….
Let’s say I am writing this right now, in just 15 seconds I rehearse finishing this essay, doing greatly, having improved, writing faster, reading better, feeling absolutely great. This I do in in 10 seconds but changes how I feel and most importantly trains my subconscious on what I want to create. It helps change my self-image.
THIS HABIT ALONE CAN EXPONENTIALLY IMPROVE YOURSELF AND YOUR LIFE.
#2 DIRECT AFFIRMATION:
“The Directive Affirmation” that a very effective tool to stop that negativity inside your head, and change your self-image permanently.
As we said before, until you don’t change your self-image to identify the person you want to become, is very unlikely you will make the changes you want to make, or achieve your biggest goals and dreams.
As legendary sport psychologist Jason Selk says, “You can´t under-perform or outperform your self-image for very long”.
So, here is a great way to maintain focus, while letting your subconscious work for you.
-YOU CREATE A WINING SCRIPT AND READ IT 5X PER-DAY:
You hand-write it, make 5 handwritten copies and leave it in different places around your home. Every time you get to that place you read the script.
This script should be in present tense, “I Win the Super Bowl”, and uses ONLY POSITIVE DESCRIPTION, not “I will not be fat again”, instead “I am healthy, and strong at 145 pounds and I maintain it for 1 year”
(I prefer to make those 5 copies and have it in different places, like my pocket, my business folders, next to my bed, etc. I program myself to read it at 5x during the day, specific times are better for me, so it’s easier to reproduce the habit of reading them. I read them at 6, 12, 15, 18 and 21. If for any reason I can’t do it at that specific time, for example I am in a meeting, I will read it as soon as I finish. Regularity and consistency in the repetition is critical).
1. DECIDE AND Write WHAT EXACTLY YOU WANT.
Be specific, precise, goals that are measurable are far better. For example, I win the gold medal in 2020, or I earn 30 million. Whatever it is, make it concrete, precise and measurable.
2. Place a LIMIT TIME to the achievement.
“I earn 30 million by November 14, 2020”. “I lose 50 pounds by November 1, 2019”.
3. Write the BENEFITS of Achieving this Goal:
List the reasons why is important for you to achieve this goal.
Write what will be the benefit, or benefits. This is important because creates motivation, and inspires you to take action. The benefit should be stated in positive terms and experience the benefit as is happening, “I lost 50 pounds and I feel better than ever, my clothes fit great, I have more energy than ever, I am proud of myself, I can go anywhere and talk to anyone, my confidence is through the roof).
- WRITE THE PLAN:
Write your plan, the actions you will take to get there in order to achieve this goal. The difference between a goal and a wish is your plan to get there (and it´s in writing)
- READ IT 5X A DAY FOR 21 DAYS:
Consistency is the key here. When you read this script make corresponding images. In other words, not only read it but also create the mental images of that which you are reading.The key is to write it by hand, and make 5 handwritten copies and READ IT 5X DAY for 21 days straight. Then you can rest for a week or so. If you didn’t achieve it you evaluate, learn and improve. You can write them again better the next time.
If you do this 5x day for 21 days you will see amazing things happen. Try it for yourself.For longer term goals, you can read them indefinitely. You will need to regularly build your self-image to achieve those goals.For example, a long term goal, in 4 years to win the Olympic gold, or taking your company public, whatever it is, the key is repeating and creating the correspondent images 5X per day, every day. It’s only a couple of minutes each time.Exceptional book on mental training. You can visit Lanny´s site here, https://mentalmanagement.com/
Download now my TotalSuccess App, Your Daily Medicine against being “average”….to help you stay away from an average life, with average habits, average results and an average experience.
15-Minutes per day will help you become the absolutely best you can become. You have a responsibility to honor pour potential. The biggest pain in life comes from not maximizing your Potential and doing what you know you were capable of doing, for you and others. You have been given the Most Extraordinary Gift; Your Life. Use it.
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