Mental toughness and training – Athletes have to juggle training on top of a busy and stressful life. With work, social and family commitments to consider, training the mind usually is not at the top of the priority list. Yet the mind is like any other muscle in the body, and it needs time and practice to become stronger.
With more time at home and races postponed or cancelled this year, now could be a great time to develop those psychological skills and become clear about all the areas that contribute to high performance, beyond just physical training.
The way we think about our sport and performance if negative is often not accurate. Hannah Winter, sports psychologist consultant describes and explains this. This type of thinking can cause unhelpful emotions and prevent us in achieving our goals if the focus is on uncertainties, worries, downsides, and frustration, which can lead athletes to a ‘threat state.’
One way to tackle it is to view the situation as a ‘challenge’,” she says. “Athletes who practice challenge-state thinking typically have more success and more enjoyment. This is characterized by focusing on your resources available (your training plan, support from coaches, friends and family, access to YouTube videos and books), what you can do, and realizing what’s in your control.
“By learning to think effectively, you can control your emotional reactions to situations when you want to perform at your best,” says Winter.
Grounding– focusing on the present moment is an important skill to develop, taking each day as it comes. Grounding techniques can bring attention to the here and now, and allow people to feel more in control of the present and the future.
Being committed no motivated- “Shift the word ‘motivated’ to ‘committed’,” says Winter. “Ask yourself, ‘How can I be committed to my sport progression right now?’ Some days the answer might be something other than exercise. For example, reading a book, analyzing previous race performances, focusing on stretching or nutrition, or practising psychological skills.”
Get brain training and enjoy it. These are just a few suggestions, but there are loads of resources out there, like nutrition this is also a key aspect we tend to minimize as part of our training program[wdi_feed id=”1″]