Mental Skills Techniques: Force and Function to Become More Aware
Changing how we do things requires a great deal of discipline, but also self awareness. Self awareness is one of the most important mental skills for any athlete to have. The more aware you become the better you are at understanding yourself, your tendencies, how to manage yourself and what strategies or techniques to implement at certain times. Self awareness governs all other aspects of mental performance. You need to be aware of your self talk, your behaviors, your attitude, how you react to certain situations and how you are reacting in the moment.
As we increase awareness we give ourselves the opportunity to move away from reacting and move towards responding. To make a choice, a decision about how we want to be in certain moments and what we need to do to get there. Self awareness doesn't just happen. Sure as we get older we do become more aware as we mature, but we also have to be deliberate about it. To make a point to increase our awareness.
For a lot of athletes their careers will be over before they hit 30, and so an athlete can't rely on the natural maturing process that allows us to manage ourselves better. We need to practice it and find ways to speed up the process of self discovery.
Here are 3 ways to do this:
1. Journaling/writing: This will look different for each person based on their personality and what they need to do for themselves. It can be as simple as writing out your thoughts and concerns. You can also take it a step further and as you write out your concerns and worries, ask yourself what part of the situation can you control, and then create a plan around that part. This can come in the form of an if...then statement. Write out if X happens then here is my plan to handle the situation. Be specific. How do you want to respond, what can you do. And what can you do each day to be the best version of yourself.
2. Mindfulness: In this light mindfulness helps us investigate out inner world and increase our awareness of our inner dimension. How do you tend to think, react, behave as well as judge situations.
3. Conversations with wise people: When I work with clients often I don't need to say anything. I simply allow my client to speak, and ask questions to help them think about things and through this process they learn about themselves and think about things is a way they never have before. This can be done not only with a mental performance expert but also with people who have great insight or just know how to listen and ask timely questions. Sometimes the simple nature of talking things through brings new light and new insights.
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