Psyched Online

LETTER OF THE MONTH

From: XXXXX@mninter.net
To: Psychedonlineorg@yahoo.com
Subject: Aging Jock
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 07:36:46 -0600

Just turned 60 and I am having trouble enjoying my Racquetball because of an “attitude problem” of loosing and not winning.

How can I turn the clock back 30 years when I was learning the game and had little or no success for a long time and just played for fun trying to learn the game?

I went on to have some success in winning many tournaments and being a very dominant player among my peers.

I see this problem with many participants in the 50-60 year old age group. Many of my former playing partners have quit playing because of a deterioration of skills and a bad attitude.

I don’t want to give up yet, but I need help to get my mindset back to when I was learning the game and having fun.

Help-help-help

TO: XXXXX@mninter.net
FROM: questions@psychedonline.org
SUBJECT: Re: Aging Jock
DATE: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 11:36:14 EST

I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are having. It is not the first time that I have heard other people your age having similar problems with motivation. As I get older, I have noticed that I have aches and pains that I didn’t used to get after working out. This in turn makes me not want to go to the gym as often. It is a shame that your sport does not allow any type of handicapping for age or ability level like golf does.

I think that your problem comes from the expectations that you have set for your self. That is to say, you may be setting goals that are too high. If this is the case, then try to set smaller more attainable goals. For example, instead of trying to win the whole match, focus on just winning the next point. When you set smaller goals it is usually easier to overcome situations where you have experienced repeated failure. It’s the equivalent of trying to climb the stairs to the top of the Empire State building. It is easier if you try to focus on completing one floor at a time rather then counting how many floors you still have to go.

Although it’s not directly related to your sport, you might want to take a look at the article on Goal Setting &Motivation In Training For Skydiving

Hope that this is of some help.

Good luck,

Miguel Humara, Ph.D.