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September 01, 2023

The Mind-Body Connection in Sports and Sales

Everyone experiences stress

It’s how you deal with it that matters.

In the 2023 French Open semi-final between Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic, Carlos admitted that the tension of playing Novak got to him, which contributed to his whole body cramping up and not being able to move.

In fact, he said it was nothing like he had ever experienced before.

This is a clear description of the mind body connection and how the mind affects the body’s functioning.

At the heart of this tension is fear. Fear of the unknown.

Fear felt in the body communicating to the brain to protect himself.

This was possibly a psychosomatic condition.

After all, he was not in any real danger. His life was not in jeopardy!

Similarly, many salespeople experience rejection and don’t know how to handle it, resulting in what I call, their unique PTSD (post traumatic SALES disorder).

You’ll see this in salespeople who experience the emotional roller coaster on a regular basis.

Often salespeople who experience this will prefer contacting people by email or texting as they prefer not to hear “No” directly from the prospect.

If you’re a sales director/manager wanting to build resilience in your sales team then the psyche of your salespeople has to be addressed, to address the soma, the body.

Why?

Because one affects the other in a feedback loop.

There’s no point in putting sales people through sales training if you don’t address these psychological areas.

Ever wondered why salespeople experience “Call Reluctance“?

It’s not like a hand is going to come out of the phone and grab you, is it?

But for many salespeople being rejected is akin to social rejection and it’s very similar to physical pain.

The first step in mastering your fears is actually to put yourself through training in this area, much like a sportsperson. Be exposed to it.

Second step is to realise it’s not usually fixed in a one day workshop. It’s not just about being passionate. It’s about changing deep, underlying behaviours.

Carlos Alcaraz will spend time with his coach talking it through and dissecting what happened.

Also the solution will not come on the practice court. The opportunity to master the same situation will only occur once he is in the same position facing a similar fear.

BUT, preparation is king.

It’s not something that is overcome in a single, over-hyped training session. It’s thoughtful interaction, with a lot of honesty and vulnerability.

People who want to get to the top face criticism and flaws with a calm mind.