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A hockey arena with a full squad of players.  This photograph has been processed to have a grungy, old-style hockey feel to it.

Beliefs about achievement in sport can make or break the realization of true potential.  Beliefs are powerful underlying thoughts about what we think is possible, what we believe about ourselves, our teams, our abilities and the world around us.  Beliefs are the basis of our expectations, self-talk and actions.  In the field of psychology, a term called ‘self-efficacy’ reflects the thoughts you have about your ability to be successful.

Beliefs exist at a deep level, and are sometimes hard to identify and adjust.  Often without realizing, they shape our sport experiences and help or hinder success.  By working on the mental game, athletes, coaches and sport organizations can develop the knowledge to take stock of beliefs; learn to challenge the ones that may be limiting success, and enhance positive rational beliefs that help us realize more of our true potential.

Here are some powerful question to ask yourself:

What do you think you can achieve if your limits were stretched, and things really came together? Can you constructively challenge the ‘glass ceiling’ of what is possible? Do you believe that committing to a strong competition plan, being determined and mentally tough can take you further than you thought that you could go? Do you recognize your own strengths, abilities and work that you have put into your sport?  Do you set expectations that are rational, positive and motivating?  Can you identify the irritating-irrational beliefs that can diminish performance and hold you back?

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