Mind Over Sports

EYE CONTACT AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE.

Posted on: October 14, 2013

It’s often said that the eyes are the highway to the soul, but it’s actually the other way around: The eyes are echoes from the ego. Whatever is going on inside you will show up in your eye contact.

Eye contact is a powerful indicator of self-esteem. The better your eye contact the higher your self-esteem. The poorer your eye contact, the lower your self-esteem. And in almost every situation, individuals with bad eye contact are withholding, keeping their feelings and emotions bottled up inside themselves. Withholding is a form of lying that demeans us, lowering our self-esteem, creating psychological baggage that negatively affects our ability to focus and process information.

That’s why athletes with poor eye contact will inevitably make mental errors during competition. Wide receivers in football are more likely to drop passes. Running backs will fumble the ball. Quarterbacks are prone to throwing interceptions. But the opposite is also true. Wide receivers with high self-esteem and good eye contact will make fantastic catches during competition. Running backs will make great runs. Quarterbacks will complete a high percentage of their passes. And it’s always a good idea, if possible, to check out your opponent before competing. For example, if you’re a volleyball player, you might want to visit the opposing team, meet them and talk with them, noticing their eye contact. When you spot a player with poor eye contact, that’s the person you’ll want to hit the ball to whenever possible since that individual will be more likely to make a mental error. If you’re a quarterback on a football team, check the eye contact of your wide receivers. If any have bad eye contact, try not to throw to them but rather to those receivers who have excellent eye contact. Your percentage of pass completions will increase dramatically.

If you’re a parent and want to help your children improve their eye contact, encourage them to say what’s on their mind and not keep their issues bottled-up. If you’re a coach, you can hold team meetings (sometimes without coaches present) encouraging players to get things off their chest and speak up. If you’re an athlete and want to improve your eye contact, do not withhold your feelings and emotions. Speak your mind and clear the air. In the words of Shakespeare: “To thine own self be true.”

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