FC98: Create a Vision Beyond Your Sport to Stop Fear from Hindering Peak Performance Feat. Malcolm Brogdon

The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts it into fire. – Cus D’Amato

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Hi, and welcome back to the star player academy show, episode 98.

This is Marilyn Wo, I know your toughest challenge is to perform your best under pressure, so I’m here to give you my best ideas and resources to maximise your potential and enjoy your game as much as you can. Hope that helps.

In order for you to be at the top of your game as much as you can requires you to remove issues in the mind. Some of the biggest problems people have are allowing doubts, fears, and other negative reactions stop them from achieving.

Doubts are emotional fears that hinder us from achieving goals. Doubts are misgivings that cause us to worry, and most times the worry is overwhelming since our uncertainties, reservations, and fears lead us to suspicion, which cause distress to the mind. Fear is the number one reason people fail in any area of life apart from health and money issues. Still, most health issues are resolvable, thus putting fear in number one position of robbing people of their goals. If you want to reach peak performance, you have to remove the fears out of your way and work hard.

Fear often causes dread, fright, panic, alarm, trepidation, apprehension, concern, worry, anxiety, phobia, and the like. If you have all this negative energy, how in the world can you achieve any goal?

The key then is instilling positive energy through positive thinking to reach your goals. You need goals, plans, and action while using that positive energy to achieve. Yet I know, it’s doesn’t work for you to just tell yourself to stay positive and things will just work out. There’s more to just saying those words. You’ve got to have the faith and believe to stick to work towards your dreams.

But a lot of times, it’s easier to let fear take over.


Most times fears are irrational. Valid fears do not include illogic, unreasonable notions, foolish thinking, crazy ideas, absurd thoughts, and so forth. Thinking involves coherent thoughts. As you think, you feel balanced, while the lucid thoughts keep you coherent to your goals.

Therefore, to reach peak performance you need to learn skills, such as thinking in a logical sense while basing your ideas on reason. The wise conversion will lead you to realistic views.

That is why it’s not easy because it requires a great amount of effort to pluck yourself out of your comfort zone, stand on your two feet and start to analyse your own thoughts.


Then you might ask, “how do I start?”

You start by retraining the mind. Start with the affirmation, I intend to be the best version of myself in my sport. Consider how realistic is this affirmation to you? The process is simply self-reflection.

Ask yourself questions like:

“How is my overall condition? What can prevent me from achieving my peak performance? Do I have health issues that will prevent me from achieving peak performance? How can I improve those issues to work toward peak performance?”

If you come up with the idea of solving your basic issues like general lifestyle and health, you are on the road to improving your body conditions while working toward peak performance. The notion is realistic, marked with positive influences. And it’s really down to the basics whether you have been an athlete for a long time or not.

Remember to always ask yourself, “what is my goal?” and “How much effort am I willing to put into reaching peak performance?”

Then you will move on to the next step, which is to answer yourself:

“My goal is to become better than what I was before. In order to do that, I need plans. Instead of just coming up with positive words to psyche yourself and hope they work, you need to start acting first with planning. Plans are in fact the actual steps that help promote positive thinking.

So ask yourself “what are my plans?”. “Do I have intentions, purpose, and meaning to back my plans and goals? If not what can I do to find meaning in achieving my goal of being the best of myself all the time.”

The meaning that you find in what you do is the catalyst that leads you to think positive:

Ask yourself questions like:

What is my significance?

Do I have value?

What is my worth?

With your goals, plans and meaning, you’ll start to be more affirmative in what you say to yourself such as, I am significant as a human being, and I have value and worth that will drive me to my peak performance.

A lot of times, I realised that when we immerse ourselves in the sport we love, we tend to end up treating ourselves as a commodity, or just making up the numbers in the team, or living in the world of how others see us instead of the meaning we derive for ourselves in what we do.

A lot of athletes I know are in this environment to belong to somewhere, to find identity in themselves, to do something out of their lives.

In this way, they feel more in control of themselves. But they are looking through the lenses of others not their own. They stick around because they think they have to, or they feel better doing so. They don’t have a concrete belief of why they are here and what are their plans.

This slowly leads to a drop in their commitment and by time, a drop in performance. It’s easy to just stick around and put in a bit of effort to work on something, but by time, it gets harder when the true passion and motivation isn’t founded in the first place.

As I’ve mentioned before, if you want to be able to withstand fear, pressure and to overcome tough challenges, it doesn’t just happen and it doesn’t just take a lot of effort. Yes you need all that effort to push yourself, but without that desire and meaning to what you do, I’m afraid effort doesn’t really help at all.

This is why many athletes may work so hard, yet they can’t seem to sort of “get it”, or achieve what we think they can reach for.

So for you athletes, you need to then ask yourself these questions: “What are the insignificant doubts and fears that could hinder my efforts, plans, and goals? Do I fear achievement? Do I fear success? What is achievement? What is success? Why should I fear it?”

You must ask yourself these questions to discover your beliefs and your true self before you can overcome adversity. This is definitely a graduated process, so don’t expect to answer yourself today and see a total change tomorrow. However mindset shift can take place quite immediately, then as you take action, it takes time for you to develop that, see results along the way, get even more encouraged with the positive results and you will see improvements by time.

Along the way, always ask yourself questions like “what are my fears and doubts and why do they exist? What do I need to stop or start to reach my goals? Am I worth the effort it will take to reach peak performance? Can I stop the thoughts that bring me doubts and fears that will hinder my efforts in achieving my goals?

When you ask and answer all those questions I’ve mentioned today, you will soon realise there’s more to being in the sport you play, and it’s because of that purpose that you will not place achievements and success above yourself and the betterment of your actions.

It’s based on a simple logic that if you think that your achievement in your sport is everything you have, then all the more you will fear not being able to achieve it. This fear will paralyse your eventual actions and performance in your games.

Hence, it takes more than just telling yourself not to be afraid. It all starts from inside of you.

Today I want to feature Malcolm Brogdon who plays basketball in Virginia College. You may not have heard of him, but he’s been featured in Sports Illustrated as one of those inspirational athletes you can find.

Just a little introduction, this inspiration series is meant to feature athletes beyond the scores and stats, because sports are not just about winning and losing, it also give rise to stories of athletes who overcome obstacles, exhibit sportsmanship and defy the odds to achieve success.

As for Malcolm Brogdon, he has made his decision to play basketball and committed to it completely. Basketball meant everything to him, but he was sure that it wouldn’t define his entire life.

This is what I got from an article by David Gardner from Sports Illustrated: “When Brogdon saw the poverty in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro right next to hotels that he knew would make hundreds of thousands of dollars a night at the Olympics and World Cup in the following years, it solidified in his mind what he wanted to do after basketball—start a non-profit or NGO (non-governmental organization). “After basketball is over, I want all my energy to go to that,” Brogdon says. “That’s my true passion. I want to transform people’s lives in third-world countries—give them clean water and food.””

Although, Malcolm knows he loves basketball, he ate, slept and breathed basketball, he is very clear that he wants to make an impact in what he does, it doesn’t have to be in basketball.

He is very sure that he wants to make an impact in the world, and he just happened to start with basketball. It could still be basketball anytime in the future, but it’s the mindset and attitude he brings to court that people should learn from.

My point here is this, the sport you are in is something you have passion in doing as compare to any other sport. But you need to extend your vision beyond what you get out of your sport. The earlier you start the better, and it gets clearer as you progress, and the more you are able to control your fear, because the unknown wouldn’t be that mysterious anymore. Although you know nothing hasn’t happened yet, that vision in your mind makes your mind and body think it’s real and naturally, you won’t get as nervous as without that vision anymore.

You know your direction, you know your plans, you know what you need to do. Most athletes are afraid and let that control them not because they want to, but when their minds know that they do not know what comes next, the reflex reaction is fear. Thus, it’s harder for them to make sense out of the situation and couldn’t perform as well as they should.

Hope that today’s episode isn’t too complicated for you to absorb, but should you need help anytime, just email me your most pressing problem you have in your sport or team and I will connect with you as soon as I can. My email address is marilyn@starplayeracademy.com, let’s get in touch.

With that, we have come to the end of today’s episode.

Before you go, I have a quote for you by Cus D’Amato, he said, “The hero and the coward both feel exactly the same fear, only the hero confronts his fear and converts it into fire.”

Thank you all for joining me today. If you are wondering what you can do to be the best athlete you can ever be, go to starplayeracademy.com, I’ve prepared a cheat sheet that shows you 15 success traits of a serious athlete that you can follow in one glance. So head over to starplayeracademy.com right now, and till tomorrow.

I look forward to see you become a StarPlayer.

Show Links:

  • Malcom Brogdon Knows His Impact Well Beyond the Hardwood

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