Mental Fishing – Discovering Your Style How Style Influences Performance

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MentalBlogEverybody has their own personal style, I don’t mean what kind of clothes we like to wear, but the way in which we gather information, assimilate it, and make decisions. When someone in a performance field doesn’t know what their own style is could find themselves falling short of their potential.

Unconsciously, athletes all use their styles on their chosen playing field. From one player to the next, those styles will affect their ability to make decisions, make adjustments to those decisions, and event how they deal with competitive pressures.

In our society, stress carries a negative meaning, but not all stresses are bad. There is stress in most anything, laughing at jokes is a good stress, as is winning a game; but, the mounds of accumulated paperwork on our desks or the micromanaging, untrusting boss are typically negative stressors.

Whatever the stress is, our personal style can dictate how we manifest physical and mental stress. For some of us, stress can affect decision making, adjustment making, eye hand coordination and fine motor skills. For an angler, any of those things can lead to less than ideal performance on the water.

If an angler appears to be carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, they may hesitate in making decisions, and they may find themselves losing control of casts, causing them to fall short or wide of their targets.

Take another angler, who gets really wound up at the thought of fishing in a tournament. This angler may make too many impulsive, irrational decisions without thoroughly processing all of the information and stimuli, and their casts may become long, often past their targets, or splashing wildly due to overexerting themselves.

Either of these anglers is allowing their reaction to the situation to overtake their physical and mental skills. The stress of the situation has caused a breakdown in their process, likely because they didn’t have a handle on it all together.

To start with, an angler must begin to understand certain things about themselves. Are they a loner, hyper competitive, do they love solving the problem, and sticking with what they believe is the solution? Or, are they the type who likes to solve the problem on the fly, fishing on hunches, running and gunning.

Each of these anglers has a unique style. Their style dictates everything from the type of fishing presentations they prefer to use, to how they go about establishing a game plan, to how many rods and reels they have on the deck. None of these are meant to be taken in a negative way, in fact all of these things; when understood, can become a part of an angler’s success.

It all depends on how we take in information, and what we do with it. Do you like concrete details, or do you see a lot of possibilities? Do you base your moves on emotional gut reactions, or come to logical conclusions?

Charles PlottUnderstanding those things about yourself are just the first steps in understanding your mind, and becoming the angler you can be.

Charles Plott, M.S. is a Performance Consultant. He brings two decades of experience helping individuals, teams, and businesses improve performance. Charles is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor, with over 20,000 hours of experience. His website is