Divergent Thinking (problem solving)

Current State of Affairs

Sport is about finding ways to set your self apart from the competition. Attention to your sport’s technique, consistency in your effort when at practice, and taking care of your body from a recovery standpoint are all well known ways that athletes can improve and take their abilities to the next level. The fact that this is common knowledge also means that the majority of athletes will be training and improving in a similar manner if the aforementioned tactics are all you have in your arsenal. Hard work cannot be replaced, but in order to take your game to the next level, hard work may not be enough anymore. You are going to have to work smart as well. This requires a different kind of mindset, one that is not as well known, meaning the earlier you get on it and buy in, the sooner you will get an edge on your competitors who haven’t been introduced to this divergent way of thinking.

How often have you seen a talented athlete get to a big stage and suddenly become unable to perform up to self madeor outside expectations? They seemed unstoppable up until this point, but the big moment arrived and they crumbled. Their hard work had been put in place, they’d done their reps, perhaps even stayed late after practice to study film, but they still came up short. The athlete “choked”, even though they thought they prepared, which can usually be attributed to an unprepared mind, even though their body was lock and loaded. This athlete may have let their emotions get the best of them, which is easy to do in a moment one has worked so hard for, but there is a way to keep our mind on our side during any performance, no matter the scale. It will require you to think a little outside the box, but that just means you are in the minority to have such a secret weapon, that’s the whole point behind divergent thinking.

The ideal scenario

So what makes this way of thinking different than the rest? Any form of competition is a very emotional time, and the bigger the moment, the more emotion we typically attribute as spectators and athletes. Emotion can be a very powerful tool used properly, but in these big moments, we also have to use our previously practiced mindset to stay calm and collected under the pressure. The most successful athletes appear to be at their most relaxed when the big game or big meet comes up, because they know they have prepared for this, and they will not let the outside buzz of their environment upset or throw a wrench in any aspect of their performance. This does not happen by accident either. You can set yourself apart from the majority by harnessing your emotions through conscience mental effort. The great thing about this tactic is that, like a muscle, it can get stronger over time and the more we exercise this divergent way of thinking.

Say you are facing your cross town rival, and they want to win this matchup just as badly as you do. Let them get caught up in the crowd, in how well or how poorly they think you will perform, how well or how poorly they think they will perform, and all the other variables that can come with such a high stakes matchup. You will have trained your mind to focus on one thing, and one thing only: your performance. You know it will be up to par, because you have made sure to put the work in to make it that way. You don’t care how they will play, because you have learned you can’t control that, and therefore it should not be a part of your concerns. You can get excited about the crowd, but they will not distract you from what needs to be done, you have a one track mind, and it’s a track that will give you the greatest chance of success. You are your focus, and you will get the most out of yourself because you will have trained to think in this simple, yet underutilized manner. All you can ask of yourself is all you’ve got to give, and you will be able to attain that high level of individual performance on a consistent basis because you now think in a way that most others will not.

Boost solves this by

  1. Teaching the importance of emotion
  2. Teaching how to harness emotion
  3. Logically attacking when performing
  4. Combining emotion with logic for greater results
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