What’s Your Performance Statement?

I just finished reading 10 Minute Toughness by Jason Selk. It’s a mental training book for athletes and one of my favorite parts from it was coming up with a Performance Statement. It’s like a mantra in that it’s something you repeat to yourself. But it’s more of a unique and individual statement in order for you to execute top performance. I’m big on “never give up” and “dig deep” type of mantras but they can be a little vague.

Here’s how the author gets you to come up with your own Performance Statement.

1. Imagine you are about to start your dream race or game that you want to win. It could be the Olympics, Boston, the World Series, the Super Bowl.

2. Right before the starting gun or whistle goes off, your coach comes up to you and tells you one thing to focus on.

This will be the first part of your Performance Statement.

3. Now imagine, that you are the coach and also the athlete.

4. Right before the starting gun or whistle goes off, you (the coach) goes up to you (the athlete) and says another thing to focus on.

This is the second half of your statement.

Mine is:
“Relax. Be patient.”

I flipped my halfs around just to make it sound better. I tend to tense up my shoulders when I run, so I’m constantly telling myself to relax when I run. And my coach always tells me to be patient. Sometimes when I start to feel good in a race, I pick up the pace too soon. When it comes to long distance races that could make for an unpleasant end to a race. And not only within the race, he tells me to be patient with the whole process of training.

Each person will have a different one. It could have to do with pumping your arms, driving the legs, keeping your back straight, have short strides, etc. Whatever will help you to perform better.

I highly recommend the book if you want to up your game. It’s the only mental training book I’ve read that actually gives you exercises to work on, rather just telling you to push through the pain.


Try this short exercise. What’s yours?

8 thoughts on “What’s Your Performance Statement?

  1. piratebobcat

    Very cool! One of my elite buddies ran the USA half marathon championships in Houston last weekend. He said his coach told him right before the race to “Leave your comfort zone”. I thought that was pretty cool. My unnoficial coach told me before the marathon at Dopey to “leave it on the course”. I also tell myself to relax. And I also like “one more step”.

      1. piratebobcat

        He hadn’t been able to train properly, so he missed his goal of 1:05 but still finished the half at 1:07. I had another friend there who ran 1:03:54. Both times are insane to me!
        They were both hoping to break 1:05 because that qualifies them to go to the Olympic trials in the marathon. The first friend still has time to qualify tho!

  2. Trails and Ultras

    Similar to yours: Relax. Keep good form. (My running becomes sloppy when I don’t focus…I don’t pick my feet up high enough and trip, and I lose my breathing pattern and slow down)

  3. bpangie

    Never really thought about it. Whenever I’m on the line, it’s usually something along the lines of “well, here we go.” Maybe “here we go, settle and go.” That sounds good…


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