When it comes to exercise and physical activity or any other type of strenuous task for that matter, they say that half the battle is going on inside your own head, which is absolutely correct. When we become too worried over something or over analyze them, we begin to doubt ourselves, and when that happens, we start feeling lost. For athletes to succeed mental training is as much if not more important as training their bodies physically. Speaking to sports psychologists and other similar experts can help them get tips they need. Mental training for athletes is nothing new, and if you know what you’re doing, you will surely benefit from it. Here are some mental training tips and fixes to improve athletic performance.
Establish a strong mind-muscle connection – Many bodybuilders utilize what is known as building a ‘mind-muscle’ connection. Basically, a mind-muscle connection is where you visualize each and every muscle group being worked as you perform a certain exercise. When bench pressing, you will visualize the bar being lowered as you perform each rep, you will picture the pectoral muscles being squeezed, and you will picture yourself easily pressing the bar off your chest as you complete the rep. This technique helps you to keep a clear head when you train, and it helps ensure you perform each rep correctly. Basically, your mind works in synergy with your muscles, and it really does work.
Visualize every possibility – It doesn’t matter which discipline you happen to be competing in when it comes to mental training for athletes. Visualization is a very important factor to consider. However, when visualizing, many athletes will only focus on the positives. They will visualize themselves winning and performing incredibly well, which isn’t always guaranteed. By visualizing potentially negative outcomes, you can better prepare yourself for what it is that you’re about to do. In the 100m sprint, spend a certain amount of time visualizing yourself winning the race, but at the same time, visualize yourself suffering an injury, tripping over, or simply not performing as well as you could. This helps you to build character as it will help you imagine how well you can perform in the face of adversity.
Remember all of the positives – This next step isn’t about visualizing imaginary scenarios, it is about remembering all of the positives leading up to what it is that you’re about to do. Before a big event, remember all of the previous races you won in the past and remember all of your positive and productive workouts you’ve had over the last few weeks, months, even years. This helps to build self-confidence which can, in turn, erase the feelings of self-doubt, which can otherwise negatively affect and hold back an athlete. By focusing on the positives, you know that you’re good enough to win, and you know exactly what you’re doing, so you essentially don’t need to think at all, and you can let your natural flow, take care of everything instead.