If you’re a sporty type you’ll understand the power of the mind. You may have those days when you get ready for a game but the connection between brain and arms/legs just isn’t happening. You’ll try to focus through that foggy brain but your heart is telling you that you can’t do it and most times it’s right. Cos it’s all in your head!

This is when you have to trick yourself. I’m not talking the thumb trick when you pretend you’ve pulled off your thumb (this totally freaked out my daughter) or the coin behind the ear trick. Although these are good to distract you from the fact that today you’re going to lose, they don’t help with the whole de-fogging process. It’s more ingenious than that. You have to give yourself some positive, back patting talk that will lift you out of the hole that you’re in!

You have to lie to yourself, it’s amazing how powerful positive thinking can be in a dire situation. Grab a mirror, stare yourself down, compliment how you’re looking today and tell yourself, “You can do it!” This is not something just for the sporties but for everyone who feels lacking in confidence. A self-pep talk is always helpful, if not a bit funny. But who will know right?

My son is 6 and started soccer this year. At first his team kept losing and he’d wake up every Saturday morning looking down the barrel of another loss. He’d say out loud that he was going to lose and we’d say that he would if he had that attitude. To his credit he changed his mind. One game, his best bud came up to him 1/2 way through a match and said, “I think we’re going to lose this” to which son said, “Leave it to me!” They still lost but over the next few weeks my son would get up in the morning and declare he was going to score a goal… and he did! Marvellous.

If you think defeat, you will be defeated. That’s what it boils down to and if you think you’ve got a sporting chance then you will. Doesn’t mean you’ll win all the time but you sure will have a lot more fun. And when you win, what a victory, what a smile you will have glued all over your sunny face!

The mind is a powerful force. It can drive you to do great things and it can make you feel like a bowl of melting jelly; good for nothing. But choice is equally as powerful and when we choose not to listen to the negative voices in our heads then our chances of victory are increased. In the end all that matters is doing your best (simple but true) and if you have and you still fail then it wasn’t meant to be. You can still hold your head high and know that you couldn’t have done any more. That is a victory in itself.