Flexible thinking can change your game, while rigid thinking can hurt your performance and harm your team’s progress.

Adaptability and flexibility that is, being able to deal with uncertainty—are key to high-level performance in a team sport like ultimate.

On every team, some players use flexible thinking, while others display rigid thinking. Flexible thinkers thrive on change and the unexpected—they are naturally adaptable. If you always have a to-do list and you don’t like it when something arises which isn’t on your list, then maybe it’s time to work on your level of adaptability.

What are flexible thinking and rigid thinking? And why is it so important to develop flexible thinking in ultimate?

Definitions Flexible Thinking And Rigid Thinking

With rigid thinking, you tend to have a state of mind:

  • That focuses on expectations. You have very high expectations of your teammates, your coaches, and your team. When these people don’t meet your expectations, you feel disappointed.
  • That seeks to control.
  • That clings to the idea of what should be and what should happen in your life and within your team. When you join a new team, you may tend to imagine how your coach should act, or how your teammates should behave. Frustration and disappointment arise when you feel it is going in the wrong direction.

Developing flexible thinking is necessary to perform in sports, and to navigate through life when facing obstacles. With flexible thinking:

  • You learn to adapt to unforeseen circumstances and change. You can quickly learn new strategies, or follow a new game plan in the middle of a game. You can also adapt to a new coaching style without affecting your performance.
  • You manage to redirect your attention from one task to another, like taking on a new role within your team, or rapidly switching your focus from offense to defense after a turnover.
  • You let go of your expectations of others.
  • You become open to possibilities. You tend to look at the bright side of every situation. You develop the ability to turn things in your favor.

Talented athletes who use rigid thinking will have a hard time reaching their full potential because they will spend too much energy trying to control instead of going with the flow.

Flexible thinking leads to success because it makes you think about things in a new way, from a different perspective. Therefore, you become able to figure out new solutions to successfully navigate in an unpredictable environment.

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This article was published on Ultiworld, a website dedicated to the sport of Ultimate.

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