Five Mental Training Tips for Athletes
These five mental training tips can truly change your game. Many mental skills are common sense but the difference for some is practice and putting the tips into some type of daily practice. This is the challenge I give you for 2015. Read the tips and practice them.
TIP 1. Set mental goals! It’s a new year so it makes sense to make this training tip number one. I like what Jim Afremow says about goals: Think it than ink it. When you write it you are more likely to achieve it. You may want to look at the book, Write It Down Make It Happen.
TIP 2. Seriously commit to having helpful self talk in your mind. Engage more in instructional talk than critical talk. As Willie Mays says: “What you’re thinking, what shape your mind is in, is what makes the biggest difference of all.” Talk yourself through motions rather than analyze too much. Have a key phrase you write everyday to help set your mind. Try this one: “Stay focused, stay strong.” Then practice it, see training tip 3.
TIP 3. Mentally practice like you physically practice. Practice mental skills throughout the day. A good mental tool to practice is focus. You can easily do mental check-ins throughout the day. Is your mind where your body is? If you are working is your mind on the project? If you are driving are you mentally present with driving? These are great ways to practice focus and being in the moment.
TIP 4. New Mindset New Results
Have a routine but with a flexible mindset. You are more likely to keep doing your mental tools if you build them into your daily routine. A habit is nothing more than doing the same thing over and over. The key is the mental flexibility to know when you truly need to shift something for a day and when to commit and simply do it. Take a look at the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. My 10 minute daily meditation is one training tool I try to commit to everyday.
TIP 5. Knowledge Empowers You (KEY)! This is the KEY to your success. Keep notes about your training and competition. What is happening when you are successful or in the flow? Learn if you are thinking or bringing certain images to mind to help. Be your own little scientist and apply your findings!