mental attitude

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Re: mental attitude
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2009, 12:45:18 PM »
In the "Inner Game" it says that you shouldn't be concerned with winning or losing, because it depends on too many factors you can't control.

This where the discussion begins on how much emotion comes into play, or if it does; e.g., the desire to win is an emotion and so is the desire to be the best or play one's best.  How does that emotion interplay with being in the "now", a state during which there is no emotion, imo.

I believe this is what Gallway, in his follow up book, called Self 3.

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2009, 03:47:24 PM »
We all know what our cars are supposed to do (get us where we want to go). And we know why (we need to go somewhere). But what do we do if it breaks, or maybe we want it to go faster? We have to take it to someone who knows HOW it works, and HOw to fix it.

There are hundreds of books, like The Inner Game of Golf, that tell you what you should be doing and why you should be doing it. I have probably read most of them. I tried to focus, visualize, relax etc.. It seemed the harder I tried, the more confused I got.

Once I learned HOW you actual do "focus", "visualize" etc., the acutual mechanics of how your machine works, every thing changed. If you knew HOW your car works, you could fix it, or make it go faster, yourself.

There is a price to pay to learn this new way of thinking, some work to be done. However, if you were happy with where you are at, you probably wouldnt be reading this. If you are not happy with where you are, your already paying a price, emotionally, for that.

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2009, 08:02:47 PM »
I still think that making sure that you are doing it to have fun, and are having fun, that you think right. Everything is easier, loose, focused upon, and enjoyable.

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2009, 06:08:27 PM »
Fun is the optimum state for success. When you are having fun, you are making representations, pictures, of what you want. You are in the zone. So why dont you have fun all the time? Your mind gets in the way. I guess all this stuff is about knowing HOW to creat "in the zone", and it involves running your mind consceiously, as opposed to allowing it to go unconscious. Knowing who YOU really are is a key component. Ill get into what i know about that after the next post.

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2009, 09:38:06 PM »
It sounds like a shortcut to the optimum mental state to me, what do you think Zeek?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 09:50:19 PM by Old Meister »

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #50 on: March 15, 2009, 06:30:31 PM »
The Game of Black and White

Allen Watts was a philospher who specialized in the study of eastern philosophy. He lectured at leading educational institutions all over the world for over 40 years. One of his best known concepts was called The Game of Black and White. It is a way of looking at reality that goes to the core of understanding how successful people think.

We live in a world of dualities. Up and down, in and out, night and day, man and women, Etc.. Everything in the world exists only in relation to something else. Just as you can not have a one sided coin, you could not have up if you didn’t know what down was. And at the top of Allen Watts’ list of dualities was bad and good, or what he called the game of black and white. We all play the game of black and white. But according to Watts, the major cause of suffering in the world is that 95% of us play a version of the game called White Must Win.

We are told at an early age that the world is a dangerous place and black is something to be avoided at all cost’s. And so we live our lives thinking that somehow we can, we must defeat black, and then every thing will be alright. As a result, we are always disappointed, and suffer emotionally when we experience unwanted outcomes. Just as there must be a heads and a tails to a coin, there must be an equal amount of black and white in the world.

So is this good news or bad? Here’s what Watts says.

Successful people accept that there are going to be many adversities in the path to a goal. You can be assured that they have experienced as many unwanted outcomes as those that are not as successful. Probably more. But instead of seeing them as failure, they see them as arrows pointing to where they need to go. They simply learn, adjust, and take more action until they get what they want. With this way of looking at black, black becomes their friend. They continue to be motivated, and they don’t suffer negative emotions every time something doesn’t go their way.

Important: This does not mean that you cannot have more white than black in your life. The harder you work, and the more you understand this concept, the more successful you will be.. But there will always be adversities, and how you perceive these adversities will determine, ultimately, your peace, happiness and success.

Does this make sense? I am not sure I have explained it properly. I can only say that it was one of the most important concepts in my journey.

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #51 on: March 15, 2009, 09:11:07 PM »
I think what you are talking about is more what Todd Loffredo's take on using fear might have been alluding to. Something I used to do while competing in target archery is to tell myself that I couldn't buy a better venue to practice in, that being at a national shoot. And by putting it in that light it allowed me to come to the shooting line while working on my game which I think is a positive, thinking and learning while competing and coming away with a positive regardless of the final outcome. One thing I learned is that I could only control my play, my opponent was going to do what he was going to do. While arhery certainly is this way and you can affect the play of you opponent in foos, it still bears out that you are the center of what happens as it all comes through you in one form or another. And another truth is that you cannot do better than you can do so be true to your own game, not the one you wish you should be able to do. How's that Zeek? Did I come close?  Something I would like to explore with you, Zeek, and others, is ego. I like to go into competition egoless. I know I can win if I conquer myself and that is my focus. Ego seems to need another person to compare to. Why would I want to go there? I will win if I win over myself. I'm interested what you think,,,
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 09:23:32 PM by Old Meister »

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #52 on: March 17, 2009, 11:28:43 PM »
so should i continue? theres much more interesting stuff.

Offline Tyler Foos

  • 274
Re: mental attitude
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2009, 07:12:35 AM »

Another key variable in the two sides viewpoint Zeek offered is the body's natural tendency to react then calm down, the homeostatic process which returns (or at least is usually trying to) the body to the neutral state after being stimulated. The 'in the zone' feeling has an associated feeling of contentment, when things just feel right, that you are equally aware of the many variables that play out during the course of a match (when to try this vs that, balance and creativity are all working well together). But then, when we are being beaten, the frustration or fear of losing or whatever other specific feeling is stimulated kicks in. Our bodies natural desire is to pull us back to that 'zen' state but what we do consciously when we are knocked out of that state directly affects how quickly (on a physiological level) our homeostatic system can overrule those emotions. A well timed time out can do wonders, if it is spent re-focusing on your own game vs. continuing to react emotionally to the other person's game and how it has you flustered, frustrated, or whatever else.

Just some thoughts.


Re: mental attitude
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2009, 09:38:41 AM »
I like what you are getting at Tyler as we aren't just talking about a single moment in time during a competition. That 'tendency to react then calm down' is certainly a truth that has to be dealt with due to the nature of our game. How many times do you hear about guys having to wait longer than they feel they should for their match and then blame it(a loss} on being cold. While I have my own ideas about that I would be interested in what Zeek has to say. As far as regrouping during a time-out I really got a kick out of the way one of the pro's(don't know his name) dealt with that. You may know who I'm talking about but he sits down on his side of the table, almost under it , his partner leaves him alone, and you can see that he is deep into self and visualization, maybe even verbally conversing with himself. He is totally oblivious of anyone else watching him. At first I thought it was a ploy, a conscious distraction technique aimed towards his opponents as it was so unusual to see, at least for me. But then I could see that his game remained at a consistent high level and it was indeed his way of staying in touch with his focus. Pretty cool to watch.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2009, 09:49:57 AM by Old Meister »

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2009, 03:29:33 PM »
So lets start getting into the HOW
            So far i have been talking about my quest  to  figure out how  the  top golfers  think.  It
became obvious to me that something was missing in my game that was keeping me from
getting  better  and moving  to  the  next  level.  I  decided  to  concentrate my  efforts  on  the
“mental game”,  since working on my  swing  for 40 years had not gotten me  to where  I
wanted to be. I noticed that the “big boys” seemed to have a way of thinking that produce
the  results  they were getting. The  two  things  I noticed most was  that  they knew HOW to handle the adversities of a round of golf, and they appeared to be having fun most
of  the  time. Bill Harris called  this attitude being able to Let Whatever Happens Be OK. I realized
the  golf  swing  was  only  half  the  equation  for  playing  good  golf!  I  spent  11  years
discovering and  learning a new way of  thinking and  it changed not only my golf game,
but also my life.
            What  I have  learned  is based on understanding who  I,  the player,  really am and
HOW my body and mind actually work. The YOU exercise below is the beginning of that
YOU exercise
            Find  a  quiet  place, where  you will  not  be  interrupted,  and  give  your  complete
attention to the exercise. Take some time with this exercise. It is very important
            As you are reading this, take a moment to notice the room you are in. Just watch
your surroundings. Easy enough.

            Next, hold your hand up in front of you and wiggle your fingers. Just watch your
hand moving.
            Now, pay attention to your breathing. Just notice as you breath in and out. Take a
few moments to do this.
            Next, pay attention  to your  thoughts. Notice  that you can actually watch  them  if
you try. Just watch.
            Try to bring up some type of emotion. Imagine you just missed a 3 foot putt. Just
notice the emotion.
            You can watch all these things, cant you?
            Who is doing all this watching? If YOU can watch all these things, then they must
not be the real YOU!
            The realization and experiencing of the REAL YOU is an amazing thing. Man has
been trying to describe and explain this “thing” that is YOU for thousands of years. It has
been describe as a point of consciousness or your spirit. One thing is certain, and that is
that YOU exist apart from the body you reside in. The YOU exercise will start you on the
road to realizing the real YOU. YOU are the captain of your ship. You are the one who
experiences  the  fun  of  foosball  (or  the  “not  fun“  of  foosball).  And  YOU  are  the  one  who
determines how good you can be.
              YOU/spirit  have  an  amazing  biological machine,  your mind  and  body,  that  you
use to experience the real world. Your machine is designed to create for you anything you
ask of it, and it is really good at doing this. And there is nothing magical about the way it
does  it. You  experience  your  reality  through  actions  and  internal  and  external  feelings,
and the results you get are based solely on the software in your computer. And once you
understand  how  this works,  you  can  change  the  programs  that  are  not  resourceful  and
begin  to enter programs  that get you what you want. It’s not that hard to do! One of the
main purposes of  this information  is  to  show you a way  to  run your machine  to
create  the  best  foosball (or anything else)  you  are  capable  of.  I guarantee you  that  all  successful people have learned to think this way.
            This YOU/spirit thing is the only thing about thsi information that may
seem  a  little  “mystical”  or mysterious. But  I  know  that  if  you will  spend  a  little  time
thinking  about  it,  and  experiencing  it,  you  will  realize  that  You/spirit  really  exist,
separately  from  your  body  and mind  (computer  and machine). Read  the YOU  exercise
several times if necessary.
              In the last paragraph I said that you create your own reality based on what you focus
your mind  on. And many of you are probably thinking  something  like  “yeah
right,  if  I  focus  on  hitting  a  perfect pullshot  hard  enough,  I  should magically
wake  up  one  day with  the  ability  to  hit  a  perfect pullshot!”  I  didn’t  say  that.
Here’s how it really works.
            When  you  focus  on  “hitting  a  perfect pullshot“,  you  have  to  make
pictures  or  representations,  in  your mind,  of  doing  it, which  sends  a message  to  your
subconscious mind to create it. This causes you to take action! You begin to notice and
think  about  what  actually makes  a  perfect pullshot.  This  causes  you  to  read
books, watch videos and/or seek out people who know how to do it. You may realize that
you do not have the right mechanics, or you are not in good enough physical shape to do
it, which will cause you to start working out and eating properly. If your desire is strong
enough, focusing on “hitting a perfect pullshot” will cause you to take action to
learn what you need to create it.
            Important: Remember  that  focusing on what you do not want, with  the  intention
of  avoiding  it,  is  the  kiss  of  death!  Your mind  does  not  process  the  words,  only  the
pictures or representations you make in your head. And focusing on what you do not want
with  the  intention of avoiding  it causes you  to make pictures or  representations of what
you do not want.
            So,  focusing  on what we want,  or  do  not want,  creates  the motivation  to  take
action  to get  it. The problem  is our society  teaches us  that we must avoid danger in the
world, and thus we have developed the habit of focusing, unconsciously, on what we do
not want. And as you now know,  this  just gets you more of what you do not want. But
this is really the good news, because habits can be changed!
            The process I have learned for making this change, from focusing on what you do
not want to focusing on what you want, has four main steps:
1) Understanding the mechanics of how you “focus”.
2) A method for recognizing when you are focusing on what you do not want, and  then
neutralizing the pictures and representations you are making that are not resourceful.
3) A method for creating new and more resourceful “software” that will get you what you
4) A method for committing your new, more resourceful, “software” to habit.
            Mastering  this  four step process will change your game, and maybe other things in your life, in ways you cannot imagine.
            The adversities of a game/match/life (and  there will always be plenty of  them)  lose  their
power  over  you  because  you  now  know  HOW  to use  them  as  stepping  stones  to getting
what  you  want.  Instead  of  unconsciously  allowing  them  to  create  negative  feelings and actions, you will understand HOW to take charge, consciously, of your game. Once you realize and experience this way of thinking, playing and learning, foosball will become fun, no matter what the situation may be!

Next: The mechanics of focusing

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2009, 03:43:27 PM »
P.S. dont be afraid to ask questions.
P.S.S. I have been a golf instructor for nearly 20 years (if anyone is interested)

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #57 on: March 19, 2009, 04:39:30 PM »
Interesting, about how a person focuses. In archery I  read books that said to "burn a hole in the center of the bull", and I never got it. In fact I ended up with a horrendous case of target panic. It took me years to understand that there were two types of archers, ones who made it happen and the ones who let it happen, I was the latter. I couldn't use a pin, dot, or cross hair as a sight but I could use a ring to look through. The thing was is that I needed to see where the arrow would hit and I needed to simply trust that my subconscious would center that ring on the target and let it happen. My conscious action was to execute so that my hand would end up on my shoulder after the shot. I shot the style similar to the olympic archers, using a finger release and spring loaded wire that clicked when you pulled your arrow tip past it on the draw and aiming sequence. The only difference was I used a compound. At one point I was ranked 6th in the world, a far cry from when I had target panic and could miss the whole bale at 20yds, it was UGLY! So I wonder what that says about how I should approach this game. I never felt comfortable going with set shots but would rather create holes to shoot by moving the ball, causing reactions that I could exploit.
As far as not thinking about what I don't want, I've been working on that ever since you said that and about the pictures given to that part of the brain. It makes perfect sense to me. I'll have to think about the rest. Good stuff, keep'em coming. I don't think I'm the only one following this thread.

Offline bbtuna

  • 1465
  • TS, Dynamo, Tornado, Warrior, & Fireball
Re: mental attitude
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2009, 12:31:07 PM »

Looking for the next installment...hanging on every word.

Re: mental attitude
« Reply #59 on: March 20, 2009, 08:09:57 PM »
You know, Charles, I've gone back through all the threads since I first came to this site and if there was any that could help the game of those who lurk around here I think this is it. We all work on the physical game, some are extraordinary in their skills. Yet this info is primo in my book. I think we should give Zeek/John a big thank you and a,"I want more" until we drain this guy,,lol. Just plain good stuff,,,