Mental resilience is crucial to an athlete’s performance, perhaps more than their physical prowess, whether they are consistently competing at a professional level, preparing for their first marathon or attempting to improve their exercise intensity.
A positive approach, visualizing what you are capable of, can give you a sizeable advantage in your efforts, while doubt-packed thoughts will have a deflating impact before you even commence.
Jonathan Weiss, a local New Yorker whose interests include fitness, skiing, golf, and baseball, shares a few key sports psychology tips that will enhance your results in the gym or on the playing field.
Master Your Mindset
Before beginning your exercise or competition, you must ensure that your mind is prepared, focused on the task ahead. Any indecision about what you intend to do and how you will execute it will have negative consequences, Jonathan Weiss says. You need to understand what your goal is rather than following a wait-and-see method that merely hinders your progress and results in ineffective results. Then, you are to concentrate your undivided attention on the matter of accomplishing the work itself. Essentially, you are to self-coach yourself and galvanize your body, which will be beneficial in keeping you committed when you start to tire out or the pace picks up. Finally, you should realize why this particular exercise is vital to your overall health, a step that helps you watchfully eye your long-term goals and eventually achieve them.
Note Your Self-Communication
Your inner voice can be a weapon of self-destruction or self-satisfaction, depending on how you utilize its force, Jonathan Weiss states. If you tell yourself that you will struggle and implant seeds of doubt, then of course it will shoulder you with an uphill battle. Conversely, putting yourself in good spirits by communicating motivation and genuine belief will push you to cross the finish line emphatically. What language you choose to use often dictates how well you can elevate your performance standards. Despite any challenges that are present, craft your language with a positive tone that reinforces your confidence and instills a calm, composed demeanor. Negativity will only make you the architect of your own downfall. Why put yourself at a disadvantage with a pessimistic, bleak outlook? Should you decide to imagine yourself handling the stressful, formidable aspects of an activity, then, by all means, envision yourself overcoming them.
One Simple Goal at a Time, Says Jonathan Weiss
Throughout your exercise, it is all-too-easy to think ahead and lose sight of your current ambition, Jonathan Weiss notes. For instance, a marathon runner might be overwhelmed by the idea that they still have many miles to go, a thought that hurts their level of performance. In the present is where you want to be, taking it gradually, step by step. Even contemplating positively about the future can be detrimental to your path, so don’t get carried away with illusions of success too soon. Stay in the moment and establish reasonable goals. At the gym, stick to one rep or set for each goal. On a run, you can progress by mile, kilometer or per every street sign you pass. After crushing one marker, you create another one, and another, and so forth. Nervousness creeps in when you focus on the full, long-distance obstacle, so put yourself in the moment and remain there.