MENTAL SKILLS ARE IMPORTANT FOR TODAY’S SPORTS PROFESSIONAL

As YOU begin to progress through your sports career it would be wise to take a look at other sports champions in a bit more detail and determine what their winning formula was.

CRW_2184Take a look at the lifestyles of the truly elite and establish what gave them the edge. Everybody does fitness and skills training but a true professional will add in the mental skills training to help conquer the opposition.

Many competitors and coaches forget to include this vital part of preparation only to find that despite being talented, they fall far short of their potential.

Herewith a few pointers:

  • Your Personality: Use positive self talk. Some people think positive thoughts only, but many actually verbalise it.       A classic example is when you watch some rugby kickers on TV talking to themselves in their pre-kick routine. Cognitive methods should be employed constantly in order to remain positive;
  • Visualisation: Visualise yourself executing perfect form. Visualise power, grace and a flawless performance prior to competing. Picture your training being executed perfectly and use visual motor behavioural rehearsal techniques, (VMBR)and wire your brain to win. VMBR is a definite game breaker and the difference between just being there and winning;
  • Energy control: Your thoughts affect your body. Positive thoughts equal positive physical responses and therefore it would be imperative to master and employ negative thought stopping. Your training will generate positive energy that will carry into your personality as a whole. Use motivational books and DVD’s to fuel your emotions;
  • Goal setting: Your goals must be definite, achievable and clear cut. They must be short, medium and long-term. They must be performance-based, not outcomes- based. Build your self-esteem and have a positive self-image. Confidence will come from setting realistic goals and achieving them on step at a time;
  • Concentration: Focus on the here and now. Practice the art of self-hypnosis as this is another key to real success. Your mind is like a wide-angle lens that can zoom and focus on your objective at the correct moment in time, so use that focusing ability to the max. Become centred and absolute focus should be your immediate goal;
  • Stress management: Keep a balance between arousal and relaxation by controlling your daily stress levels by focusing on positive emotions.

 

Many competitors and coaches forget to include this vital part of preparation only to find that despite being talented, they fall far short of their potential.

Go into the country side, visit the beach and quite places. When you get the opportunity use music, books and DVD’s to help keep a balance in mind-body harmony. In this way your somatic state will be positive and conducive to peak performance. Keep your cognitive and emotional state positively sound in order to build synergy with your body for heightened levels of performance. Your behavioural habits are kept very much in harmony with the somatic and cognitive factors.

Your PST approach must be structured, flexible and consistent. Your problems must be diagnosed and dealt with by finding solutions. A scattered mind will give a scattered result. A positive mind will yield a positive result.