Preparation is the key to keeping your cool.
If you watch professional cyclists, you’ll see they don’t panic. That’s amazing! It’s also amazing there aren’t more wrecks. (Speaking of wrecks, I seriously felt for the riders after this crash at the 2021 Tour de France.)
Part of the riders’ success comes from having finely tuned equipment. The Cardinal Classic Cycling Team has a team mechanic who ensures all the athletes’ bikes are in excellent condition. Another key to not freaking out is riders’ support from their teammates, the coach, the team manager, and the team psychologist.
Yep – the ladies on the Cardinal Classic Cycling Team have a shrink. Seeing how fast these riders go, you’ll agree they must be out of their minds or something is driving them that needs exorcising.*
I reached out to their performance specialist and licensed psychotherapist, Ben Foodman, who has a master’s degree in clinical social work and a master’s degree in sport psychology and motor behavior from the University of Tennessee. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and has worked with professional and collegiate athletes, musicians, veterans, professionals in emergency services, teams, and organizations seeking to improve psychological performance.
Ben talked about how every sporting event should be a problem-solving event designed to induce physical and psychological stress on its participants.
So things that have been overlooked, such as poor planning and preparation, suddenly can’t be ignored anymore. The stress takes riders away from what they are supposed to be doing at this time.
In real estate negotiations, we use the Prepared to Win-Win™ negotiation worksheet to make negotiations feel more like a problem to be solved instead of a bare-knuckle brawl.
You have to be nuts to ride like a pro.
Ben says that performing at the moment is about syncing the mind and the body; it’s about preparation.
Winning the race, he says, does not happen at the finish line; it happens right at the beginning, in the preparation and the state of mind you bring. So before the race, get deep into routines and develop muscle memory, so mistakes don’t happen. Then, when the race starts, focus on the now. Athletes can only change the things they are doing in the moment, not in the future.
Whether it is golf or cycling, sports are all about your average. If you are exercising good mechanics, for example, the ball will generally go where you want it to. But, like in real estate, if you are a goal setter, develop good habits and learn from your mistakes, you will be successful.
In other words, change your thinking from “I need to win X race” to “I need to set X goal” or “I need to know X steps.” Ben says this thinking will impact their sports performance and enhance their personal and professional lives.
Speaking of personal lives, if athletes do well with their mental health, they will perform better. Ben cautioned about “athlete identity”. He said, “Don’t think ‘I am Anne, the cyclist.’ Instead, tell yourself, “No, you are Anne, who happens to be a pro cyclist. And I work hard on all these things.” This kind of thinking helps athletes not take the highs and lows too personally.
Unlocking your resilience is helpful in business settings.
Do this by not getting yourself too wrapped up in your work identity.
It only results in you being vulnerable to criticism and temporary setbacks.
The hardest part is to focus on the moment – what should you do right now? What is the process?
Real estate is full of stress. At Cardinal, we use checklists to help us prepare and to keep us focused. Check out our Due Diligence 360™ or Prepared to Win-Win™ tools. We’ve used them thousands of times for a multitude of transactions, and they never fail to keep us in the moment and on the right track.
Want to know more? Send me an email with DD360 or PP2WW in the subject line and I will send you a free copy.
* I am being cheeky here but I feel that I have carte blanche on casting aspersions on the psychological profession. My mom was getting her master’s in counseling during my formative years and went on to a successful career. I was her guinea pig and was mentally poked and prodded while growing up. Sorry, Mom. I know that you wanted me to have more issues.