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As an athlete, you spend countless hours perfecting your physical training. For a competition, it can be tougher to face the mental challenge. You’ve got to mentally prepare for performance training, too.
Focus is key. Without it, you’ll have trouble executing what you’ve practiced in your workouts. You’ll need to manage stress properly and control your excitement if you’re going to be in top form when you compete.
How to Mentally Prepare for Performance Training
When it’s time to get in the zone, consider these five tips to help you mentally prepare for performance training:
1. Focus on technique
Don’t think about winning or losing. You’ll only get distracted from what it takes to perform physically. Learn to ignore the factors you don’t have control over, such as weather or terrain. Focus on the details you need to execute during competition. Instead of visualizing the outcome, identify the individual steps you need to take to get there.
2. Understand your stress
Heading into your competition, it’s natural to feel stressed. What many athletes don’t realize is that this stress can work for you or against you. A small amount of stress can help benefit your performance by energizing you and giving you a rush of adrenaline. If you let it consume you, that anxiety can cripple your performance. Learn to accept the presence of stress, put the competition in perspective, and use the extra adrenaline to your advantage.
3. Visualize your performance
Many talented athletes practice visualization before a competition. They envision potential scenarios and create a plan to respond. This can help you react quickly on the spot when presented with the same scenario.
4. Choose the right environment
Some people like to get pumped up by listening to loud, fast-paced music. Others feed off of encouragement from their fans. Some choose to find a quiet space and listen to calming music, or meditate. Find out which method works best for you and use it! Make sure to replicate that environment for yourself prior to the competition.
5. Practice positive self-talk
The narrative in your head before competition should be mindful and purposeful. Set yourself up for success by talking through the event in a positive, uplifting way. Understand how you typically respond to certain stress triggers and create a plan for dealing with them. If it helps, you may want to keep a journal with you to log your thoughts. You’ll also be able to review the thought processes you’ve written down and learn from them.
Are you ready to meet your competition head-on? Get in touch with our team at Accel today to prep for your next event and to help you mentally prepare for performance training. Our coaches are experts on perfecting your physical performance, but they can also help you practice achieving the perfect mindset for victory.