• Kate Allgood

What role does mental skills training play in your performance

What is mental skills training?

Many people have an idea of what mental performance is but don’t know enough to really know how it fits in, how it can help and why it is important. To start off ask yourself this question. Are you performing at your best with no room for improvement? If you are like most people will have answered no, meaning you have room for improvement. Many people are at one level of their performance but know they are not performing up to their potential. Usually there is a gap, and sport psychology is designed to help bridge the gap between where one is currently performing and how they are capable of performing.

You might ask about why this gap exists, perhaps you have an idea or know why. When an athlete first starts out, there is a learning curve and they are constantly getting better, and so there is a gap because they are in the development phase, which is normal. However, once an athlete has moved past the development phase, if there is a gap, often times it is because they have physically reach a high level in their performance but their mental performance or side to their sport is well below their physical performance. When this gap exists between mental and physical aspects of a sport, there will be a gap in ones performance and the mind will be creating a block and holding the athlete back. For a while this gap doesn’t impact the athlete too much, but once you reach a certain level where everyone pretty much has the same level of physical skill then it is the mental side of their performance that will set them apart either above the rest or below.

Think about how much time you spend on the physical side to your sport. Now think about how much time you spend on the mental side of your sport. The difference in the time spent will probably indicate the gap between your physical and mental side to your performance and also indicate the gap between where you are currently performing and where you are capable of performing. Try and add one thing a day that hits the mental side to training. If you wish to succeed in your sport, to play not only at the highest level you want, but also enjoy it and get the most out of it, then you must start training your mind. If you don’t you will be left behind while others catch up and speed ahead.