Our signature 6-week Program
~ It All Begins with Preparation ~
Competition Ready is a focused series of sessions addressing the most common concerns athletes and performing artists experience. Whether preparing for tryouts or an audition, each session is crafted to equip you with the skills, methods, techniques, tools, and routines you need to perform your best when it counts.
Performing Under Pressure
Every athlete, performing artist, coach, parent, and motivated human being, must address the experience of stress. Whether anxiety or the fears that come from being tested, we always get a surge of adrenaline, sometimes a racing heart, and pressure that can totally take over our mind and body.
Have you ever observed individuals during these challenges who appear supremely confident? Have you ever wondered: How do they do that? They have a skill set that is specifically designed to help them maintain control, even under stressful circumstances. They’ve trained to do that.
The simple difference is that they are able to control their arousal. It enables them to focus. They tune into the right things. They focus on the task-at-hand. They quiet the chatter in their head. They don’t listen to the voice telling them of how “stressed” they are.
This session focuses on “pre-competition stress” in all its forms. Situations like tryouts, auditions, competing head-to-head for the same position, and more will be covered.
You will acquire an overall understanding of “how” we perform our best when the pressure is on. We will learn breathwork, techniques to reduce muscle tension, focusing skills, and pre-performance routines that replace stress with the confidence “we can do this”.
Then we add the ‘secret sauce’. You’ll know what to do, when to do it, and how to use it. Throughout this session, we will learn about “arousal control”, and the most important elements in achieving emotional composure.
Managing Strong Emotions
Maintaining emotional composure is key to success. The human condition, our emotional attachments, are at the heart of both our inspiration, our “Why”. These things that set us apart from those who just go through the motions without any “feeling”.
Strong emotions are an essential part of being human. Knowing how to properly manage emotions is a challenge for all of us. Anger, Disappointment, Fear, Confusion, and yes, even Joy…. all contribute to mistakes – the kinds of mistakes – every one of us makes. We must train ourselves to deal with strong emotions.
This session will help you gain a clear understanding of how thoughts/feelings/emotions and actions all work – together or against each other. We will learn how emotions, moods, and attitudes are formed. We will also learn how these things impact our behavior. We will see how “triggers” cause us to “react” and the difference it makes when we “respond” consciously.
We will explore “self-talk” and learn how to rephrase statements that send us down the wrong path.
We will take a survey to see just how patterns in our thinking impact “how” we manage our emotions.
Our goal: is to maintain our composure … even in the most challenging of circumstances.
Focus – Concentration – Execution
Making mistakes is a part of life. It’s a part of every game, every performance, practice session, rehearsal, and every action we take en route to becoming better and better at our craft. This session will begin with a clear understanding of the importance of how our mindset contributes to success or failure.
This session will also leave a clear impression of just “how” our expectations can help us or hurt us – in the pursuit of “excellence.”
Once mindset is established, and our expectations are framed constructively – we begin to understand attentional focus. We will acquire tools, techniques, and routines to properly prepare our minds and our bodies to pay attention to the right things, and do those things in the right way, so we perform well.
When we do this, we focus on our PLAN. We can visualize our goals and see, feel, and imagine exactly “how” we will execute our performance plan. You will be introduced to PETTLEP/S imagery and how to write scripts with it. Research has demonstrated just how effective this method is (Woolsey 2018).
Athletes and performing artists are in control of 3 things: preparation, effort, and attitude. It all begins with preparation and our ability to focus is the setup for success at every turn.
Knowing how to shift our focus in the middle of a performance is also something that must be trained. Visualizing routine adjustments that come up in competition, enables us to apply these adjustments quickly and efficiently.
A program like this must address Confidence. Confidence is one of those things we must learn. We have to start building it from the moment we begin learning a new skill. We must review our lessons consistently and frequently in order to add to our “base” Confidence. Then, the hard part comes – How do we protect our Confidence when bad things happen…or we experience the unexpected?
Building Confidence is a skill. It requires practice. It requires preparation. More importantly, it requires consistency in performing routines – designed to anchor our feelings, and our memory to recall the work we did in preparing for our performance.
Our goal is to feel “ready and focused” to perform.
This is the most common concern among high-level performers. Mastery in performing with Confidence is best observed when people consistently employ a number of the skills and practices we will demonstrate. Journaling – power words – mantras – and reframing negatives into positives are just part of the process.
We will model the ways we can work with our teammates to build a winning culture and protect our confidence even more.
Building Your Team from the Inside Out
Support systems are key. Coaches, parents, managers, athletic trainers, and fans – can all make a difference in helping us win, or at the very least, play our best with Confidence.
One thing for sure is that no one gets there alone. Enjoying strong teammates, developing the right kind of feelings working together., Enjoying the process as we go along helps us build the right kind of team culture.
This session will discuss how teams work well – or not. We will also focus on what you can do to be a positive influence on your team, and enhance the probability that your team will be successful. Anyone who has played sport understands how teams with lesser talent win with the intangibles.
A good team culture will help you, to protect your own confidence, and to shift the momentum in positive ways.
People always remember supportive and fun teams they worked with, but they try to forget quickly the ones that weren’t.
In this class, you will learn about how your thinking and self-talk contribute to your overall life experience, and especially how you respond in situations where adversity is a part of the mix.
How supportive are you, to yourself and your teammates? We will explore those things that help and those things that get in the way. If time permits, we will use another assessment that helps you understand how you can shift your tendencies in the direction of better team chemistry.
We will learn positive thought habits. We will work on a technique for using “thought discipline” as a valuable tool. These internal discussions have an impact on how we define our own happiness and sense of purpose.
In the end, however, it is our “actions” that determine the results we see. Actions contribute to our team’s cohesion. Actions determine whether our technique in performing is good or excellent.
Our actions include the choices we make to employ a mental warmup, practice with a purpose, to respond rather than react, and eventually whether our experience is a positive one.
Questions and Answers with Dr. Walker
Each and every participant has specific situations and concerns they can receive assistance within this session. Refining your routines, or exploring the use of a technique, or, just examining another way to succeed. Virtually any concern, question or problem is fair game for this session.
Questions can be submitted before the session or asked during the program itself. For those that submit beforehand, Dr. Walker may be able to prepare a handout or seek out a video that demonstrates a solution.
Our goal: To be “Competition Ready.”
Podium loves teammates! Join with a friend and each of you receive 10% off of your registration.
Teams of 4 or more can enroll at 15% off for each participant!
Group sizes are limited so act now to ensure your place.