10. “I have to…”
9. “I need to…”
8. “I ought to…”
7. “I should…”
6. “I must…”
5. “This is it OR This is everything..”
4. “Do or die”
3. “Make it or break it”
2. “It’s now or never”
1. “Don’t miss “OR “Don’t (anything)”

All competitions and practices are important, but nothing is “special.” When you make a particular competition “special,” you are most likely to put additional pressure on yourself, which can cause you to change your approach and deviate from the very actions that got you success up until this point in time.

Instead, use phrases like, “I will,” “I choose to…” “I want to,” “I’m going to.” Phrases about allude to a Jehovian command that simply cannot be supported by facts. Approach competition with a willful attitude, not an obligatory one.

Pep talks are Hollywood. Listen to Olympic and professional athletes interviews. They always speak about consistency. In the real world, great athletes stress “being myself,” “doing my own thing,” “Being me.”

In other words, great performers approach their sport with high intensity, confidence, and serenity each practice and each competition. They rarely change their approach, strategy, or mindset physically or mentally before one competition. Neither will you.