Mindset Training for Athletes: Power of Knowing What you Don't Know
Majority of athletes are very routine based individuals. Routines are very important to achieve peak performance and knowing what types of routines are needed and what actions within each routine is very important. I have talked a lot about routines and the need to have them throughout your life, not just prior to your sports performance or during it.
Saying that one important thing to also think about is the need to sometimes rethink what you are doing and making sure it is the right thing still given who you are at that point and what you are looking to accomplish. Often we get stuck on a routine and just keep doing it because it is what we have always done, and things are going good. However, sometimes it can leave a blindspot to what is actually not working and going from good to great in our performance.
Here is an example. I was talking with one of my clients who is pro hockey player. I was talking to him about how one of his limitations sometimes can be becoming a bit rigid with his routines and not being flexible. As we got talking about this tendency of his, he mentioned one example he could think of that reflected this, and how he was forced to rethink a routine he had been doing for a while. For a lot of college and pro athletes pre game naps are big, especially I know in the world of hockey. This is something my client was doing all the time, and even though at times he noticed he was more tired after napping then prior to he just kept doing it. While after spending some time playing University hockey he at times was forced to play night games without doing his nap. This was due to exams or homework that needed to be done, and he found he often played better without the nap.
This situation forced him to rethink this routine of his, and whether or not it was the best thing for him on game day. Now it doesn't mean sometimes a nap wouldn't be good, if he is tired and needs it. However, he has stopped just doing it because it is what he has always done. He takes the time to think about what he need each game day and what would be best for him to be in the best mindset for the game.
Another example of the need to at times rethink things, is as you get older as an athlete. This is seen many times in pro sports when athletes start to getting older, they have to change how they approach their workouts, rest, and what they do to be prepared and ready to go. Those who don't rethink it and just keep doing the things they did as 19 year olds often don't last and can't sustain a high level of performance as they age.
So make sure you set regular times during the year to reassess and rethink the things you are doing and are they really helping you? This is not to say you need to over think things or do it all the time. You have to trust your routines. But even twice a year, reflecting and asking yourself some questions around the things you do may help you maximize your potential.
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