Ballroom dancers love working on their dancing skills and technique! But if dancers neglect to train their mind, it can sabotage them when it counts most.
I'm Amber Haider and I'm a Life Coach and Mental Strength Coach for amateur ballroom dancers. If you want to take your dancing further, faster, with less anxiety and more fun, stick around. It's time to make that beautiful brain your most powerful asset. Don't be surprised when what you learn here begins upleveling the rest of your life!
Visit www.amberhaider.com for more information and for contact details
Pre-comp Self Coaching
An unsupervised brain will cause lots of problems for you if you don't tell it what to do. So before every ballroom competition, it's wise to get your head on strait. Just take a little time to set yourself up for success by setting your intentions ahead of time. In this podcast I give you 4 prompts to help you do some pre-competition self coaching. Each competition will look a little different, but this is a good place to start.
1. Why are you doing this competition? What will you define as success for this particular competition?
2. Are your expectations appropriate? Is what you expect for yourself in line with your current preparations and capability?
3. Be clear about what is within your control and what is not. Focusing on what you can't control will create anxiety for you. The only thing you can truly control is you.
4. Decide ahead of time how you will feel. Decide for each juncture on the competition experience. How do you want to feel in the leading up phase? How do you want to feel during the heat of competition? How do you want to feel afterwards, no matter what?
Food for thought:
--Remember that the time for prep is done. By the time you are getting to competition, there is nothing more you can really implement at this point. So be willing to let go a little and believe that you are ready. What you have prepared up to this point is enough. It's perfect, in fact, for where you are now. You will put what you have to the test and learn what you need to do going forward to get better.
--Try to empty your mind of all the tiny directions you give yourself. Trust your body to do what it has been practicing. Over-instructing yourself can cause problems. If you must instruct yourself, pick a couple key words but don't over do it. Get out of your head a little more and into your body.
--I like to remind myself this is all for fun. I am in my 40's and just started dancing a couple years ago. I tell myself that I am play dancing. This thought won't work for everyone, but it works to settle me the crap down so I can enjoy myself. I dance so much better if I am enjoying myself. I do this for fun and so I insist it be fun.
--After all is said and done, always be kind to yourself. Never use dancing against yourself. Dancing is here to grow and expand you. It's not meant to hurt you, punish you or create any internal battles with yourself. So no matter the outcomes, always extend yourself grace and be kind. You can take this seriously, compete fiercely and win a LOT without self-recrimination.
Don't Make your Goals Harder
I'm all about setting goals and trying to achieve them. But for some reason, when I start on a new goal, sometimes I set rules around it that make it even harder than necessary to accomplish. In this episode, I offer a work of warning to look out for when you are sabotaging yourself by making your goals harder. I give some examples from my own life so you can avoid making the same mistakes. When I made my goals easier to accomplish, it paid off in way more ways that I could have even predicted.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Whenever we compare ourselves to another person, have you noticed that you rarely come out on top? When you decide you are one-down, you feel negatively about yourself and it creates negative results for you. There is really no upside to doing this.
I think it's normal to compare ourselves to others since we are a tribal, social species and we care about our standing in the group. For this reason, I don't think we should judge the fact that we do compare ourselves, we just need to know how to manage it and not make it a bigger issue than it needs to be. I also think that for this reason, we probably will never get rid of it all together.
In this podcast, I talk about the variety of seeds in the world to show you how fruitless it is to compare yourself to another dancer. There literally is no comparison because the variables between you are so plentiful.
When comparison comes up for you, I want you to be able to remind yourself that it's not relevant to you and be able to dismiss it more readily.
Now, there is one situation in which "comparison" might be ok but we will call it modeling instead. If you can look at another dancer and see what they are doing differently than you, but use it as data, as information, and use it to help inform your dancing and improve it, then have at it! Modeling can exponentially improve your dancing. The key is to not use the information you gather against yourself. If you aren't able to do that, then, for now, look the other way.
Go to https://amberhaider.com for more info on how to get direct help from Amber Haider Coaching
3 step evaluations after competition
There are many ways to evaluate after a competition, but here is a simple 3 step, easy to remember way to evaluate.
Evaluation is key to getting better. The more you evaluate your dancing, the quicker you can figure out what you need to address next and the quicker you will progress. Don't skip evaluating your comps!
First, look at what went well. Do this FIRST. Be profuse, don't hold back, be as detailed as possible. Show yourself what went well so you can repeat and solidify it.
Second, loot at what didn't go well. Don't be profuse. Don't belabor it and don't overdo it. We just need to look long enough to figure out what we are going to do about it, which leads to step three...
Step three is to figure out what you will do differently. What did you learn, and how are you going to apply it going forward?
For more information on how to work with Amber Haider one-on-one, visit amberhaider.com
The Horses in your Head: Mental and Emotional Regulation
Imagine you are the driver of a chariot pulled by 4 horses. If you do not train those horses, and if you don't pick up the reins and guide them, you would be pulled in different directions and experience a chaotic nightmare. Now imagine those horses are your mind. Are you driving the chariot or is your mind driving you?
This analogy is meant to show you how learning to train and manage the "horses" in your head take some effort, but it can be done. The goal is to manage your mind and regulate your emotions. If you can learn mind management and emotional regulation, there is nothing you can't accomplish.
Excerpt from The Practicing Mind, Thomas M. Sterner is mentioned
Practice Part 2
If you don't like practice, you won't want to do it; it's that simple. This episode offers three ways we make practice undesirable and how to approach it instead.
1. Judgment --If you punish yourself, judge your dancing and focus on what's not going well, you will not like practicing.
2. Impatience--Thinking you are supposed to be further along than you are, waiting until the finish line to be happy, and preconceived expectations lead to frustration, anxiety, disappointment and depression.
3. Making practice work--If you like an activity, you call it play. If you don't, you call it work. Thinking of practice as drudgery or a nuisance on the way to an end goal will make it undesirable and you won't want to do it.
Listen in for solutions.
Book reference The Practicing Mind, Thomas M. Sterner