Mental Training: The Importance of Being Present to Access your Potential
There are a lot of mental skills an athlete needs to be able to access their potential and to have the confidence and focus needed. There are things that need to be done prior to games or competitions for mental preparation, such as visualization or mapping out how you want to handle certain situations that might arise. Then there are things that need to be done afterwards, such as self reflection, and watching game film to learn, grow and focus on what you can do next time to improve.
During the game there are many skills I go over with clients, but the one thing they all have in common is the fact they are designed to bring the person back to the present moment. That is key during your performance. Being in the present moment, and staying there. When we look at what can impact performance, on the mental side it stems from being taken away from focusing on the right thing at the right moment. We focus on the past mistake or how it might influence the future or a coaches decision. All of which pulls us away from the present moment.
I often am asked by clients what they should do during their performance to help themselves. I always say, best thing you can do is be focused as much as possible in the present moment. This is key to performance. This is obviously easier said than done but if you can get good at this one skill set, and really master it, you will find yourself in a really good place in terms of accessing your potential.
Here are some ways to practice and develop your ability to be better with focusing on the present moment.
Meditation or mindfulness: One of the best ways to front load this skill so you have it in everyday and critical moments.
Be present away from your performance: Everyday and every moment you are training your mind. If you let your mind wander, or focus on many things, or the past or future away from your performance, it will make it harder to do so during it. The mind will do what it has been trained to do and allowed to do most frequently. Use the time during your day to practice being present.
To your success,
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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Mindfulness Certification
TAIS Assessment Certified