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Discipline and Decision-Making

Applying the Self-Trigger Technique

Words by: Cam Smith |May 5, 2020


Here we are, going into week 8 of physical distancing, and for many, self-isolation. Tensions are high, parks and sporting facilities are still closed, and the process for reopening the economy is a big unknown. With all the uncertainty, in this month’s article, I’m going to talk about extending the Self-Trigger critical error reduction technique to daily decision-making and self-discipline. 

The value of self-triggering goes beyond recognizing when you are in a rush, frustrated, or fatigued so that you can refocus—it applies to all walks of life like any other performance-related habit. For example, I find it useful when I approach certain decisions like:

  • I’m craving junk food right now; should I get some?
  • Agh, I don’t want to workout today; I can do it tomorrow. 
  • I still have a couple of days before the assignment is due; it can wait.
  • There’s only a few of us hanging out; I shouldn’t have to worry about COVID19.
  • There’s no one else on the road; it’s probably a fine time to send a text saying, “I’m on my way home.” 

We all encounter situations like this daily, and the right action to take is usually the harder action to choose. Our choices aren’t always easy, especially with a pandemic on everyone’s minds, so building the self-trigger technique into our decision-making process can help us create discipline. It helps us grow by choosing the hard way instead of the easy way out. 

My point is to self-trigger and recognize the potential consequences of our actions. We should all take a moment to think about our decisions and take note of the ones where you take the easy route compared to the ones you take the more difficult path. 

Where does each one lead you? 

If it doesn’t get you closer to your goals, the decision becomes pretty straightforward. It’s usually the hardest option that creates the most growth.

For athletes, albeit stressful, this is an excellent time to work on other aspects of your game, like discipline and decision-making. You may not be able to get the technical training you need, but you can stay physically in shape and mentally sharp. So, practice self-triggering before you take action to make sure you choose the right move. 

For coaches, this is an opportunity to continue your education and add valuable tools to your portfolio. When the time comes for the puck to drop or the whistle to blow, you’ll be better prepared to hit the peak performance zone. 

Learn more about the self-trigger technique and enjoy a 50% discount on our courses for the rest of May so you can ‘Train-On’ during physical distancing and self-isolation.

Use code ‘TrainOn50’ at the checkout!

These videos from Mike Shaw and Hunter Visser, our coach and athlete course instructors, explain more about what HeadStartPro is all about!


For more HeadStartPro tools, the Critical Error Reduction Techniques, a full list of performance-related habits, and other strategies for achieving peak performance check out our online courses for coaches and athletes:


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