Mental Training Program for Athletes: Find What Works for you
Everybody is unique, and what works for one person sometimes will work for another, but sometimes doesn't. There are many different was to approach mental training and the programs that get created for each athlete. There are definitely some staples out there that pretty much all athletes should utilize, such as visualization. However, there are things that work really well, for some, like breathing techniques during a completion, that for whatever reason don't work as well for others.
I sometimes see that people try a mental skill or strategy because someone they know has utilized it and it worked for them, or they read it in a book. It is definitely important to investigate and try different approaches, but understand that not all approaches will fit you, and just because one doesn't work doesn't mean that something else won't and you don't need to develop your mental game. I find that often when one or two things don't work for someone that they stop trying to figure out their mind and develop their mental game, thinking it doesn't really work.
This is definitely where a professional comes in, to help athletes figure out what approach and program is going to work for them. The job of a sport psychologist or sport psychology consultant is to help guide the client in figuring out what might work for them. My job is to be the guide, but it is the job of the client to really figure out what is going to work for them. I have had some clients take an approach to their routine for example that is truly unique to them. They were able to figure it through the work we have done in investigating themselves, showing examples of what others have done, and understanding what they need in a situation. Understand that it doesn't really matter what it is that you do as long as it works for you.
So be creative and open to things you might not think of that will help you. It is important to have a good basic understanding of the different elements of mental performance, such as commitment, distraction control, confidence, focus, mental readiness, and ongoing learning. Within each of those areas lies many different approaches and ways to make sure they are being taken care of and giving you the mental game you want.
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