Kill Your “Yeah, but…”

By December 28, 2018Blog, Intention, Mindset

As the end of the year (and the beginning of the season) approaches, I’ve found myself on the phone doing coaching calls with a lot of my clients. We’re doing that whole forward-looking thing:

  • mapping out the season
  • identify keystone goals
  • scheduling the peaks and valleys of training
  • making plans to deal with overwhelm

All pretty normal stuff.

And as I go through these calls I’m faced with one constant: YEAH, BUTS.

Everybody has a “Yeah, but…” in them. In fact, most of us have more than one. As I talk to my clients, their “yeah, buts” are coming out of the woodwork.

It might look something like this:

ME: Okay. So we’ve decided that you’re going to train for jamming this year because that’s what you really want to do. I have tons of plans for getting you there. And you have a lot of checkpoints built into your goals. Are you ready?

THEM: Yeah, but…


THEM: …I’m not very fast so I’m just not sure I’ll make a very good jammer.

YEAH, BUTS are the internal barriers you have holding you back. It might be true that this person isn’t very fast, but that’s not what’s really holding them back from trying to be a jammer. As we’ve already discovered I’m not very fast, but if you give me the star I will jam like hell and probably score a few points. It’s not about being fast. At least not right now.

It’s about already having decided that being slow is a problem.

Or that being slow is a problem you can’t fix.

Guess what? I can fix slow.

I can’t fix “Yeah, but…”

As you approach your season and start making all the plans about cross-training and how much weight to put on the bar and how many burpees* can be done in succession, you need to also make a plan to address your “yeah, but…”

Here’s a journal activity to get you going:

  1. Set aside 15-20 minutes.
  2. Grab a notebook (or open the notes app on your phone or text a friend). Be ready to actually write something down.
  3. Think about your goals for the season. Be bold! What are all the things you want to accomplish?
  4. As you think of each goal, notice when your brain says, Yeah, that would be cool but…
  5. List out all your “Yeah, buts…”

You don’t have to talk yourself out of them (YET), but being aware of the roadblocks your brain is going to through at you as you try to improve in the new season is key. It might still derail you to have your brain tell you “Yeah. But.” about something, but it won’t be something you haven’t heard before.

And, just like in the example above about being slow, you may find that what your brain is “yeah, but-ing” about isn’t even that big of a barrier.

Training for the pre-season (or any part of your season) isn’t just about shaking off the rust, but also about killing your “yeah, but.”

Want More?

This blog post is an excerpt from Train Your Brain to Shut UpA book developed specifically to provide athletes with the tools to improve their mental game. This journal gives you the tools to build an athletic mindset that supports—instead of sabotages —your performance.

Just like your physical training, your mental training is integral to your success in-game. And it takes practice and training to get it the way that you want you. With this journal, you’ll learn:

  • What mindset is (and what it isn’t).
  • Why (and how) to build an anti-anxiety pre-game routine.
  • To recognize your negative thoughts without letting them sink you.
  • Tricks to flip your thoughts into something less negative.
  • Ways to turn around “bad” practices or games.
  • A consistent way to PRACTICE your athletic mindset.

Focused journal prompts to work on your mental game all wrapped up in a package you can fit inside your kit bag.




About IronOctopusFitness

Online athletic training and nutrition coach, full-time mom, okay skater, and connoisseur of all things tea, chocolate, and roller derby. I'll help you unleash your inner athlete by building a strong, capable body that can withstand whatever life throws at you.

Leave a Reply