Improve Mental Toughness for Athletes: Find Solutions to Overcome Obstacles
Success is not about perfection it is about finding solutions to obstacles. Mental toughness requires us to be able to figure out how to deal with obstacles, because they will occur. You have to face them head on and look to find ways to deal with them.
This is something I do with clients on a consistent basis. We must mentally prepare for things to not go as planned and to make plans around things going off course. Now we can't predict everything, but it is important to think about how being inconvenienced by something that was not initially planned can negatively impact us and get us off track. When we find solutions our brains have a go to during high stressed times to implement rather than having to search for something, which can cause more thinking and getting more and more into our own head.
A lot of the time I find people don't want to look at the potential obstacles. There are a variety of reasons, but bottom line is it has to happen, this is a part of mental preparation, and something that is fully in ones control. Athletes who find solutions to the obstacles give themselves a greater ability to perform and to be successful. When things don't go the way you had hoped or initially thought they would, what happens to you? Can you refocus? Stay calm and present? Or do you let the fact that things didn't go as planned ruin the rest of your performance?
As much as we think we know how things will look we don't. This year is a great example of the fact that things are uncertain and unpredictable. This year it is just heightened, but the fact is every time we head into a performance there are many factors that we can't control and there will be something that doesn't go according to plan. The more prepared for the variables the better we can stay present and just focus on the next thing coming, rather then we can't believe something happened or don't know what to do with something that happened.
One way to do this is what is called "if...then" statements. Writing out if X happens then I will do Y. It is important to write it out and think of things that could throw you off course, distract you or just impede your ability to perform at your best.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification