I love simplicity. Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Among all the complexities of performance; the ability to differentiate between things which we control and things we don't, is one of the principles of success. Control is an important part of human functioning, but the reality is, whether we like it or not, there is little we are actually in control of. Critically however we do have the ability to control ourselves, including our perception, thought processing, emotions and behaviours.
The ‘Is it Controllable?’ question allows players, athletes, coaches (and indeed all of us in life) to structure a situation like a basic flowchart. If the answer is ‘No, I don't control it’, then to be successful we must first accept that we don't control it, and in doing so, then do nothing with it. In essence let it go. No = accept and let go. It is also important at that moment to focus on what we do control, as this focuses the brain and gives confidence that there is something, we can do to address what is going on. A simple self-statement might sound like, “This is out of my control, let it go and focus on…”. If the answer is ‘Yes, I do control it’, then to be successful we need to control it. Yes = control it using the skills required. This might simply sound like “I control this, so I’m going to control it by…”
Simple as it sounds, try it, you might be surprised how you become calmer, more confident, waste less emotional energy and navigate sports and life’s critical moments in a more successful way. Like many things it's a habit, once you have learned it, you will never want to go back!