The Brain Trick For Playing Cornhole

cornhole mindset Sep 30, 2022

We've all been there...

We're playing cornhole, we've got a big shot ahead of us... Our partner is counting on us. Maybe people are watching or streaming...

The chatter starts in our mind. "Just get this bag in the hole"

The emotions follow. "Don't embarrass yourself"

And it happens... SHANK

Cornhole has a huge disadvantage that others sports don't have. TIME

Instead of responding to what's happening around us automatically like in Basketball or Football, Cornhole allows time for the brains to assess the situation and make decisions.

In other words, we tend to operate out of our brains instead of our bodies like in other sports.

Now you might be thinking... how intellectual can cornhole be?

The truth is, it can be played similarly to chess. But even if you're focusing on sliding your bag in the hole without getting fancy, the brain still can get in the way.

Science has proven that once you’re past the learning stage of a skill you no longer want to be using the “working brain”. This actually inhibits performance.

The working brain is necessary when you first start but has to transition to automation for peak performance.

Imagine if you had to remind yourself where the gas and brake pedal was every time you drove. Yikes!

In cornhole, we have to practice to teach the body what to do automatically but once we are in competitive play, we have to turn it all off and just trust our body can do what we’ve taught it to do.

It would be like trying to cram for an exam 5 minutes before the test. It’s too late… time to just trust what you learned and hope for the best! 

This is understood more in other sports because there is no time to think. We know that we have to practice creating automatic responses for success during the performance.

But in cornhole, we tend to operate more out of our brains than our bodies. And this is a huge problem.

So what is the brain trick for playing cornhole? Stop trying to use it.

I know, I know... easier said than done.

Let me give you an example.

I was playing against a female bagger that's very good. She was missing some shots and getting frustrated. She was talking to herself, "Come on, stop doing that. Next time just do this"

I turned to her and said... "Oh this is not the time for that"

"What?" She asked.

I replied, "You can't be analyzing and trying to fix things during the middle of a game. It's not the time. You can do that once you're done and during practice. But right now you have to just shut off your brain and throw and hope for the best. Sing a song in your head. Count backward by 3's. Anything but truing to fix what's happening. It's just not the time"

She proceeded to get almost every bag in the hole after that. Beat me. And was the top PPR in our bracket that night.

It's hard not to let the brain get involved while we're playing. And of course there are times when we have to use it. To decide what kind of shot to make, etc. But as soon as the decision is made, we have to come back to the body where all our practice has taken place to prepare for these moments.

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!

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