Managing Performance When Mood is Moot

You know it happens.  Life works it’s sorcery and then boom, we don’t feel like doing *thing that we said was important for us to do*.  

Like train and workout.

We show up to the gym or to practice and really don’t want to be there.  And then proceed to oftentimes have a bad session. 

I recently had this happen to me during the end of June and early July.  As you may know, I play pro ultimate frisbee.  I missed a couple weeks of practice while moving and then I just didn’t really feel like playing once I started going back.  I wanted to hang out in my huge new apartment with my family!  Then 2 weeks in, my dad & younger siblings came into town from California for 5 days.  I haven’t seen any of them in person since 2015.

So between GHP & hanging with family all evening, I was hardly ever home and becoming sleep deprived.  Going to ultimate practice once they left was not something I felt I had the energy for.  I went but it felt like a chore to be honest.  But I went & gave my best & got through the rut.

Fast forward to this past week, I had a relatively good practice and finally had my head in the game.  

I’ll share with you 3 things I did to help move my emotions to get me out of my own way.  These were not quick fixes. It took me a couple hours and then I still needed the cumulative effect of doing this over days to get in the right place.

First you need to evaluate why your activity/training is important to you.  Say it out loud.  Are you really done with something or would you end up later regretting quitting?  Most of the time you’d end up regretting it. 

You need to also evaluate why you are in a poor mood.  What has got you down?  Make yourself aware of that so you can best maneuver around that.

Secondly, you have to have some positive self-talk.  Talk to yourself like a winner.  It doesn’t have to be grandiose but it has to happen.  You don’t need to be like “I’m the best” if you are just trying to get yourself to show up but you need to assure yourself that you are worthy and capable of competing well.  I tell myself that I will go and have a good time while I’m there.  I tell myself that I’ll feel better after I go.  Simple things like that go a long way.

Lastly, do the small things well and don’t worry too much about the bigger tasks.  In ultimate, that’s just doing the right throws during warm up drills.  Putting myself in the right position and stressing about making big plays. That could be getting the first run of the work out done correctly and hitting an easier time. 

Mood affects confidence in that moment.  The more you can do the small things right, the better you can pick up your mood and confidence to do the bigger things.  

What ways do you get yourself out of performance ruts?  Tell me, I’d like to know.  Do you currently struggle with those?  Let me help you.


  1. Check out my audio podcast episode on this subject where I go into more detail. Training Well Done
Global Human Performance
Global Human Performance

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