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How To Make Your Own Luck

5 Ways To Charm Your Brain Into Peak Performance

Although March is behind us, we know that March means three things: St. Patrick's Day, basketball brackets, and how much luck will play a role in both. 

As a sports psychologist, I know that when games hang in the balance, it isn’t physical prowess—or leprechauns—that tip the scales. It comes down to which player and team have the mental edge necessary to bring home the gold. 

Managing Pressure: Luck Favors the Prepared (Mind)

No matter what game you play, stress is a formidable opponent. 

Whether you are a golfer facing a championship putt… 

a basketball player lining up for a game-winning free throw shot… 

or a sprinter facing off against the finish line…

What determines success isn’t just the read of the green, the controlled release of the wrist, or the explosive bolt off the blocks—it’s what goes through your mind in the moments just before. 

During high stress, your body naturally wants to tense up, guard your breathing, and look for escape routes—none of which will help you clinch the title. Optimizing the energy in your body and brain in these moments is critical, and this means practicing intentional control—increasing calm, positive energy and releasing distress. Controlled breathing exercises can be a game-changer here!

Settling Setbacks: Turning Failure into Feedback

After a devastating loss in a major tournament, a tennis prodigy I worked with found herself questioning her abilities—even though she had defeated opponents with twice as many years in the game. In our work together, she retrained her brain to loosen her emotional hold on failure and view each loss as an opportunity for learning and improvement. She also learned how to build a strong support system to get much-needed encouragement, support, and perspective.

Revving Routines: Creating a Powerful Pre-Game Ritual

Most successful athletes I know have a pre-performance routine that allows them to fuel peak performance almost without a second thought. Established, honed, and repeated, the most powerful pre-game rituals incorporate visualization exercises, physical warm-ups intertwined with mental focus, and personal practices that create a sense of familiarity and control. There is no one-size-fits-all formula here—with coaching, every athlete discovers what works best for them. 

Picturing Success: Building Stronger Visualizations

You may have heard that visualization as a performance enhancer, but many athletes do it incorrectly or haphazardly. True visualization takes experienced guidance and practice. I often have clients work through a specific part of their practice in slow motion, training their brains to focus on the tiny muscle movements that make up a free throw or a smooth putting stroke. Coupled with positive self-talk and Neuro-Regenerative Training, visualization is a powerful and proven technique that enhances confidence, performance, and results.

Staying present: Today is (always) your lucky day.

With constant distractions and packed schedules, staying present is difficult for most people, let alone busy athletes who are always prepping for the next competition. If your mind wanders during critical moments, you aren’t alone—or helpless. Your brain simply needs additional training to filter out the noise and fully focus on the task at hand. Mindset training exercises and breathing techniques will keep you fully engaged and performing at your best.

In the high-stakes world of sports, where split-second decisions can define a career, a team, and a season, top athletes know they must train their minds alongside their muscles. From recovering from setbacks to establishing powerful pre-game routines, investing in your mental edge gives you a competitive advantage—and making your own lucky streak.

Don’t leave your performance up to chance. Start training your mind at

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