3 Steps to Avoid Overthinking in Performance.

18th November 2022

Read time: 3 minutes


This week, I caught up with one of the professional athletes that I help. And when going through what he’s done well, not so well, and looking to develop.

Overthinking is something he’s struggled with, he said.

What it was stopping him from doing was making the right decision because he wasn’t overly present to make that decision.

Yet when I asked him if he’d been practicing anything in training to combat it I was shocked that the answer was “no.”

It was clear that when he went to training, he would get caught up in what the coaches would set, execute the training, and then move on to the next.

Unfortunately, my athlete is not alone here. Many people suffer from overthinking and find that it takes them away from what they are trying to achieve. Creating procrastination, being careful, and doubting a decision.

So today I’m going to offer a 3 step strategy I call “AAA” that I offered him to use and practice.


Step 1: Awareness 

Become aware of what is distracting you.

Common distractions are: negative thoughts, regrets of the past, anxieties of the future, expectations of others, fears of judgment, and opposition.

Once you’ve become aware of what is distracting you, you can reduce it’s power over you. Simply becoming aware of something means you get the opportunity to do something about it.


Step 2: Acceptance

Accept what has happened. Instead of wrestling with the fact that you’re not doing what you’d hoped to.

This could mean accepting what has happened, the circumstances, and the expectations of others.

Once we begin to flex our acceptance muscle, we begin to move past what we can’t control and onto what we can.

Some of the best performers become very good at accepting.

Golfing great Ben Hogan famously said:

“The most important shot you take, is the next one”.

Speaking to the fact that if we dwell on the past or future, we miss what’s in front of us.

Our inability to accept what we cannot control keeps us trapped in a cycle of inaction.

Step 3: Action

The final step is to take action. We have noticed what’s distracting us, accepted it, and are now ready to act.

The action that you take will depend on what you know is the right thing to be doing at that moment.

So it’s a good idea to plan out this action ahead of time. So that if you become aware, you can accept and take action.

So to recap:

Plan what action you want to take when you get caught overthinking

Find your common distractions

Follow the AAA process

  • Awareness
  • Accept
  • Action

Hope this helps.

Whenever you're ready, there is a couple of ways I can help you:

MindStrong Sport App – Mental Skills Training for Athletes

Personal Mindset Coaching - Contact for more

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