With the 30th Summer Olympics coming to a close last weekend, much of the world has witnessed nearly super-human feats in a variety of disciplines. But what most people may not have realized is that these accomplishments aren’t solely athletic: To compete at this level not only takes years of physical practice, but years of mental preparation as well. Says Sian Beilock, Ph.D. of Psychology Today, “Whether athletes choke or shine is often driven as much by their minds as their muscles.”
This idea is based on research done by neuroscientists at Cal Tech who found that the higher the stakes are, the more active the brain becomes. For these athletes, getting ready to take a shot at a gold medal is a defining moment in their careers. On top of that, when was the last time the whole world watched as you completed a task for your job? That amount of pressure can make even the most vested sportsmen and –women freeze. When this happens, coaches perform a type of after-action review with their trainees. Through these “mindset lessons,” athletes can reframe their negative thoughts into a learning opportunity.
Beyond the Olympics, cognitive reframing can benefit athletes, Warfighters, and the average citizen alike. Some of the ways CPG studies and trains cognitive reframing and mindset awareness include:
- In our Insurgent Methods Training system of virtual scenarios, Warfighters train their brains to consider the thought processes of insurgents in order to anticipate and recognize threats.
- Our Cross-Cultural Competence Inventory (3CI) helps maintain stability in fragile regions of the world by preparing Forces to deal with intercultural conflicts. The system assesses and trains not only general cultural education, but also the mental readiness for cultural adaptability and tolerance of uncertainty.
- For Combat Hunter, CPG followed expert trackers to explore their cognitive thinking processes that enabled them to perform combat profiling quicker than their counterparts.
Similar to how Olympic coaches prepare their athletes for high-pressure situations, cognitive scientists can develop training to prepare Military personnel for high-stakes situations.
“For Olympians and Ordinary People Alike, Mindset Matters,” Psychology Today
“Why Fearing Failure Begets Failure,” Psychology Today