Motivational slogans litter the sporting landscape. They adorn locker room walls. Ride on the backs of team, warm-up t-shirts. Some years they are added to, others they are replaced all together. Motivation, teamwork, and character are common themes. It all seems so simple, "Just Do It."
If creative turns of phrase are not your thing, more straightforward mental game wisdom is usually not far from grasp... "Play in the present," "Think positive," "Imagine success and success will follow." Nice straightforward wisdom. The athletic equivalent of, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
All well and good, but a fruit focused diet seems to miss a fair portion of the food pyramid. A limited view of nutritional needs is a sure path towards the doctor's office. Similarly, leaving mental readiness to motivational quotes and calorie-light phrases is a sure way to fail the confidence and resilience test on game day. Success at the mental game requires competitively mature emotions (i.e. motivation), a productive perspective (i.e. internal dialogue), and a fair level of social competence (i.e. communication skills). It is tough to imagine one memorized statement successfully leading an athlete to competitive excellence.