Hitting the Refresh Button
When I first started coaching at UCLA, I was asked to coach balance beam along with choreographing floor routines. I had no idea what I was doing. I quickly realized that a huge part of success on beam was the athlete’s mental game. When everything was going well, there was no need to make adjustments. However, when things started going awry, I could see the athlete get nervous, which quickly turned into wobbles and falls—it was time to adjust. I also noticed that if the athlete wobbled on a skill she then tried “extra” hard on the next skill, which didn’t produce the desired results either.
It was early in my coaching career that I came up with the analogy of hitting the proverbial refresh button. On our computers the purpose of the refresh button is to wipeout what’s being displayed and to reload it with fresh content. We sometimes do this because our browser gets stuck on bad bits of code.
In gymnastics, I coach our athletes to continuously hit the refresh button. It has the same affect on their mental game as it does on a computer. It allows them to discard any junk in their brains that is keeping them from performing their best and gets them refocused on the important stuff… their cues.
Like all things in athletics, the process mimics what we do outside the gym. In life, when I’m feeling stuck, frustrated, or baffled I hit the refresh button. It allows me to get “out of my way” and see the situation clearly.
One example that comes to mind, because it happens all the time every day, is when I’m working with someone or having a discussion about something and the other person doesn’t get what I’m saying. My immediate reaction is to get frustrated and pissy. However, if I take the time to hit the refresh button I’m able to see the disconnect much more clearly and can adjust my life cues appropriately. This usually takes on the form of me listening more, a calmer discussion and at least an outcome of agreeing to disagree versus the exasperated alternative.
In your daily life, how could you benefit from a refresh button push?
[…] I give thanks that I’m alive to feel all of these emotions. In the moments that follow I hit the refresh button on my purpose, something I revisit, question and breathe into daily. And then I take inventory, […]
[…] I first read about the concept of a Vision Board when I read “The Secret.” Shortly after that I heard Nastia Liukin, the 2008 Olympic Gymnastic Champion, describe to a group of riveted young gymnasts how her Vision Board had kept her on track toward her Olympic goals. Considering that the majority of us are visual learners, it makes perfect sense that being able to visually see your goals and dreams clearly—multiple times a day—would serve as a massive motivational Refresh Button. […]
[…] needs to post tomorrow.” It’s in these moments of mini-panic that I look for the proverbial refresh button to get control over my life again. For me, the 100% reliable-never-fail-stress-reliever is the […]
[…] time, prayer and sleep. When one of these goes awry the others seem to follow suit and I have to hit the refresh button and start all over tomorrow—wasting one of my precious 1,095 days. In life as it is in […]
Ooohhhh! Yes Val! You so wise! As a Mental Toughness Trainer, I once thought I was pretty spiffy coming up with “delete and replace.” I was teaching this concept to a 12 y.o. gymnast and she says you mean like, “erase and replace?” WHAT? That is awesome. That has been the name ever since and it is the similar to refresh button. If you type something you don’t like on a computer what do you push? Delete. Then what? You rewrite it. Or replace it. This is so hard for athletes to do in the moment- I think of it… Read more »
Thanks for the reply. And you’re right, it is hard for athletes (actually all of us) to change our thought habits. Doc. Ali, One of the sport Psychologists we work with calls it “Flip it” and takes our athletes through their mental cues and when negativity creeps in she says “OK Flip It”. It’s a simple concept that our athletes use quite often.