Mentally tough lacrosse players play from the inside-out. They have an internal sense of ownership with regards to being mentally prepared and conditioned to give their best performance. And while they will take direction and guidance from their coaches, they understand and appreciate that their performance on the field is ultimately a result of making the smartest split second decisions in any game-time situation. These decisions come from players who are internally directed and driven to play their best game.

According to Anthony Robbins, author of Awaken The Giant Within, a person will make three decisions at any given moment of the day that will determine his future - deciding what to focus on, deciding what things mean to him and deciding what to do to create the results he wants. So, in sports and particularly in a game-time situation, it is important for the lacrosse player to be mentally prepared to make the right decisions. It is knowing how to mentally manage any moment to create a bigger moment for the player and his team. And it begins with how he thinks.

Making the best decisions as a lacrosse player on the field is all about learning how to assimilate, anticipate and act. It is the "triple A formula" to building a sharper mind, and knowing how to cut through anything that is a distraction and could destroy your composure and concentration. It's training your mind to continuously ask - What do I see happening now? - What do I expect to happen next? - What do I want to do in response to what I see and what I expect? When the lacrosse player does this, he will be able to focus, put things in a positive frame of reference and be a proactive player.

Also, playing from the inside-out is being able to mentally shift into one of six different internal gears which allows the lacrosse player to perform with greater concentration and confidence. This player is internally directed and driven to play at a very competitive level. He gains the inside track by being:

  • Inquisitive - being curious and asking questions to improve his performance.
  • Intentional -  knowing the purpose of everything he does and having goals to play for.
  • Inspired - motivating himself to play with passion and perseverance.
  • Intuitive - having the necessary information in a game-tine situation to make wise decisions.
  • Insightful - learning everything he can about the game to play smart.
  • Influential - finding out how to serve and support his teammates.

 Read Part 3


Guest Post by Anthony Lanzillo

Anthony is a sports counselor and mental skills trainer. He has developed and presented mental skills materials to student-athletes at the middle school, high school and collegiate levels in such sports as lacrosse, football, soccer and basketball. Besides creating his own mental skills blog for athletes (Reaching Your Mental Peak), he is currently writing articles and posts for eleven different sports websites and blogs.