Any sport psychologist will tell you that thinking about the mechanics of your swing or stroke are a sure recipe for disaster. Regardless of the sport you practice, your peak performance will be achieved once you let go of your thinking process and allow yourself to fully trust in your swing or stroke.
Do you remember when you first started to ride a bicycle? At first, there was a lot of instruction coming from a parent on how to remain balanced while keeping the bike moving. Clearly, not an easy task!! Regardless of what you were told, it came to a point where you had to learn how to remain on top of the bike and stop it without falling to the ground. It was your own learning process that slowly, but surely allowed you to begin to sense how to balance your body, how to brake, and even how to get off the bike in a gracious manner. Eventually, you learned how to ride it without using your own hands.
As athletes, there is a lot we can take from our own bike riding experiences. At first, we need to learn the mechanics of our sport; practice will eventually help us to improve our technique and perseverance will push us to reach the top of our goals. But, to get there, there is a time when we need to let go of the mechanics of our skills and just trust in the learning process knowing that what we know is just good enough.
As we move up on our learning curve, our expectations also increase. We want to reach higher goals and beat all our opponents so we can claim the number one position. But, to get there, we also need to let go of our own pressures and just trust that our skills will be good enough.
I am not saying to compete as if it did not matter. Just the opposite! The more we play with confidence and optimism, the more likely you will reach your goals. Use every opportunity to learn, even if the outcome of your last game did not meet your expectations. Use that experience to help you stay on course on your learning curve.
Keep riding your bike! It will get you where you want.