Article Contents

  • 1. A still mind is a steel mind
  • 2. Cool observation
  • 3. The steps
    • 3.1. Step 1: Make time and space to clear any interference.
    • 3.2. Step 2: Noticing without struggling or panicking.
    • 3.3. Step 3: Focusing your concentration.
    • 3.4. Step 4: The last step is clear awareness.

One of the most frequently voiced concerns for athletes in any sport is how to regulate racing minds and bodies. Whether it is leading off for your team, closing out the tenth frame for a victory, or rolling the twelfth shot for a 300, the time that stressing about a shot always becomes paramount is when there is something that feels really big on the line.

There are several holy grails in the mental game universe. Mental toughness is one of them. And in the school of mental toughness, there is one universal quality that everyone recognizes – steel mind. Everyone applauds the bowler who gets it done when the heat is on. Everyone knows players in their league, college tournaments, and in the pros, who will deliver the goods when they are given the whiff of a chance to steal the show.

Conversely, most players know of others who can’t seem to roll great shots reliably under pressure. The truth is that most competitors have, at times, been both characters. There have been times that, even under the gun, you knew that you were going to deliver an amazing shot. And painfully, there have probably been instances when the pressure or importance of the moment disconnected you from making your best shot.

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; We never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
—Tony Robbins

This month we are going to look at how to develop a “steel” mind. When the nerves associated with making big shots start to thrum, it is vital to have some strategies to go to in order to confidently roll. Everyone needs a “bullpen” in their mind. Here is how to develop one.

A still mind is a steel mind

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.”
—Steve Jobs

Getting control of one’s mind has long been recognized as vital in any performance arena. In just about every religion and culture, from Christianity to the aboriginal outback, the importance of some form of meditation or mindfulness training has been highlighted. The purpose of mindfulness training is many-fold. Significantly, gaining control of the mental dragons that can plague ...

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Dean Hinitz

About Dean Hinitz

Dr. Dean Hinitz is a clinical sports psychologist in Reno, Nevada, a bowler, a former competitive gymnast, and a black belt in Japanese-style Karate.