What in the world? Dennis Quaid and Meat Loaf? What does that have to do with racquetball? Everything!
So I am channel surfing a few years ago and come across a documentary on the life of Meat Loaf, the singer, not on the food channel.
Dennis Quaid is talking about his buddy, Meat, before a concert. Meat Loaf is consumed by “Angst” as Dennis Quaid said. Meat Loaf is an “angster” were the exact words. After the panic attacks of angst the famous singer went out and killed it in concert.
After the concert he could hardly walk. Years of performing has wrecked his knees, back and body.
It reminded me of racquetball players. The angst attack is something every good player has experienced. The better the player, the greater the angst.
This is what works for the athlete-it drives the athlete to be perfect as it does the famous singer. It also works against the athlete if the angst is not controlled.
In my experience there were some mental tricks to center oneself for competition. One is visualization. Visualizing competition and using the senses when one does that increases performance and trains the brain to focus on process, not outcome.
Focusing on outcome creates more angst and interferes with performance. Focusing on process increases performance levels if practiced!
In my career I focused on process 2/3 of the time. The rest of the time I focused on outcome or the wrong thing. Guess which approach produced more wins vs which approach produced poor performances! But as Meat would have said, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!