When I was in eighth grade, I learned a great life lesson at an unexpected event: a volleyball tournament. For some reason I kept missing my serves during a particular match, likely 4 out of 5 times. My coach didn’t get angry — he was confused. I was usually a consistent and precise server, but not this day. He pulled me aside and asked me that was going on. “I have no idea, coach. Every time I go back to serve I keep telling myself not to miss it,” I replied.
“Maybe that’s the problem,” he answered. “The next serve, tell yourself, ‘this serve is going to be an ace’ or ‘this serve is going straight to player number __’.”
I tried his trick and my serve was an ace (meaning that the ball hit the floor on the opponent’s side and was not returned over the net to my team, scoring a point for my team). At the next timeout, my coach asked if I noticed a difference. Physically there was no difference. I was the same player in the same uniform on the same court, but my outlook was different. I shifted my focus from the negative (“…not to miss it”) to the positive (“…going to be an ace“).
Yet I forgot this pearl of wisdom over the past several weeks when we covered popular nutrition myths. I focused on the myth instead of the truth. Therefore, here are the revised titles for the nutrition pearls:
- Healthy fats keep you feeling satisfied for longer
- Fiber is a type of carbohydrate
- Eat vegetables instead of juicing
- Our bodies digest when we rest
- Your ideal protein intake depends on your lean body mass
- Sardines and leafy greens are good sources of calcium
Photo credit: By Brocken Inaglory – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2604772