Athletes remove performance blocks

Alignment rules! Your thoughts, emotions and actions need to work together when you’re seeking optimal performance. Now this is easier said than done. Following the plan outlined here helps athletes remove performance blocks. The most common reason for a block is a disconnect between your values and goals.

Take a moment to reflect on the last time you were in a tight competition when everything began to unravel. As you’re remembering that moment, check in with yourself. What I mean by that is to notice what feels “off” to you. Pay close attention to the subtle feelings of discomfort. Notice the thoughts going through your head. Then identify your emotions.

Be more specific than good, fine, great or okay. If you’re feeling anger, then see if you can name the emotion that is causing the anger. That’s because anger is a “catch-all” emotion that overshadows other negative emotions. Do a little detective work to discover what other emotion is also present. It’s there; you need to look a little harder.

Even if you don’t really know where the breakdown exists between your values and your goals, a shift in perspective helps athletes remove performance blocks.

Discovering the clues to your performance block

What are your specific goals? When do you freeze or get stuck? Winning means that your mindset has to be on board. There are clues regarding your performance block.

Matt is preparing for his first ultra-marathon, a 50k. He’s participated in several marathons, but this felt different. The leap to an ultra-race was intimidating. There was underlying guilt that he wasn’t devoting enough time to training. And some doubt about whether he was up for the challenge. Did he possess the goods to meet the demands?

As Matt expressed his concerns, we discovered an underlying belief. He likes getting “A’s” and anything less than perfection is failing. That’s a ton of pressure on his shoulders.

It was time to bust through his resistance. The pressure to perform took all the fun out of training. Too much time was spent highlighting his inadequacies. So Matt couldn’t notice his gains.

Turning a negative into a positive was the solution. It wasn’t necessary to dig around in his past for the reasons he set unreasonable goals. His performance block needed a quick fix.  It was time for mission alignment!

athletes remove performance blocksHere’s how athletes remove performance blocks:

  • Alignment. Perfectionism was interfering with Matt’s training program. Identify the values which don’t support your goals.
  • Beliefs. If it wasn’t perfect, then Matt believed he was failing. Know which thoughts cause resistance. Resistance is an internal process.
  • Consider. Effort, rather than numbers, would shift Matt’s attention to something within his control.  Values are fluid. They can be changed as you change.
  • Detour. His running coach modified his training program.  Don’t rigidly follow a plan that’s not working for you.
  • Explore. Matt started a running journal, noting positive moments while training. Innovation creates a pattern disrupt. Choose one behavior change to reduce your resistance.  

Benefits when athletes remove performance blocks

Matt checked in a couple weeks later. The shift in focus impacted his running. He noticed a difference between his perfection mentality and his “effort” mindset. Performance gains happened when he tuned into the effort.  The perfection mindset cropped up with decreasing frequency.  Although he was in the early stages, he was more relaxed, having more fun and seeing progress.

Challenge:  Use the Block Busting Sheet below to help you work things out.

  1. Identify your top five core values. Core values set the foundation for everything you do.
  2. List your goals. Make your goal be as specific as possible.
  3. The third column is activities. What do you need to do to accomplish your goal? Be very specific about the actions.

This exercise is designed to become aware of your core values, goals complementing what you say you care about and the actions you need to take to reach your goals. It is easy and is one simple way to roadmap your plan.

Block Busting Sheet


Goals I want for my practice

What I need to do to make it happen



Are you an athlete with a BIG vision, but feel you’re not performing to your full potential? You do better when training than competing? You’ve tried to figure it out yourself, but you can’t quite put your finger on the problem. That only adds to your frustration. Make the choice to finally be done with this block once and for all. And finally compete to your full capabilities. Get your F.R.E.E. Discovery Session. Contact Loren today at info@expertsportsperformance.com

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