According to Mental Training, Inc. the Seattle Seahawks have embraced mental training like no other team in the NFL. As quarterback Russell Wilson showed us in Sunday’s Super Bowl win, self-confidence is why he performed so well in such a high-pressure situation. So what’s so different about the Seahawks approach?
The NFL’s finest took the stage this Sunday to battle it out for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It’s to be expected that the Super Bowl is an intense physical battle between the top two teams in the NFL, however, what became quite clear yesterday was truly how much of a mental battle the championship game really is.
The Denver Broncos were favored to win, largely because of their experienced, highly skilled quarterback, Peyton Manning. Not only had Manning played in the Super Bowl before, but he also successfully overcame numerous neck surgeries and a shocking career shift when he was traded to the Broncos. However, the Seattle Seahawks had gained a fair amount of attention due to their powerhouse defense.
The pressure and hype over who will win and how specific players will perform is enough to rattle any professional football player or team’s confidence, especially if they lack mental toughness. Sunday’s performance was no exception. Although most thought the million dollar question was a matter of who had the best defense or offense, it was clear after Sunday’s game the true question was which team could best stay focused, calm, and confident?
While the Seahawks’ focus and confidence never seemed to waiver, the Broncos struggled with regaining confidence after each mistake they made. Russell Wilson, a second year quarterback and late third round draft pick, chose not to focus on outcomes throughout the game, as Seahawks’ General Manager John Schneider highlighted when he stated that “Russell’s not a stats guy, he’s a guy who focuses on getting his job done.”
At Mental Training, Inc. (MTI), we teach the athletes we work with to focus on the process (the job at hand) while they’re competing, like Wilson did Sunday. The athletes who work with Mental Trainers® at MTI know that when they start focusing on outcomes, they typically start to feel more nervous, which causes mistakes and consequently lowers their confidence.
As viewers saw last night, mental toughness and confidence are key to successfully performing, and Seahawk’s QB Russell Wilson said it best in a post game interview, “I believed in myself,” Wilson said. “My confidence was never going to waver.” Although Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos typically play with confidence (necessary to get that far!), on Sunday it was apparent that they hadn’t consistently practiced how to maintain confidence and focus while facing adversity. At MTI, athletes of varying ages and competitive levels are taught how to manage their thoughts and emotions so they can perform their best when it matters the most, whether that’s for the Super Bowl or a competitive youth soccer game.
About Mental Training, Inc.
Mental Training, Inc. was founded in 2006 by Robert Neff, Ph.D. with the goal of helping good athletes become great. MTI and its team of Certified Mental Trainers® offer 1-on-1 mental training for amateur, professional, and Olympic athletes. Services also include programs designed for teams, associations and school districts. Extending beyond sports, MTI also works with executives, managers and salespeople, helping them control their thoughts and emotions while equipping them with the mental tools to perform their best when it matters most.