Why is mental preparation so important? You may ask yourself, “Will I fail to perform well if I don’t plan ahead?”. Maybe yes, maybe not. But what do you have to lose when you’re prepared? Most importantly, you can’t go to war without weapons.
The mental preparation technique helps you reduce your stress. Whether it be for a sporting event, performing live on stage, or maybe taking a very important exam. Being prepared also enables you to regulate your emotions well.
Are you an athlete and want to know how to prepare the way you think mentally? Are you about to perform and wish to develop psychological preparedness? Prepare your thoughts and stick to your goals. Read further about the mental preparation techniques.
Use of Mental Preparation in Sport Performance
In any game or sports performance, all professional athletes are considered of equal footing at some point in their sports careers. Many athletes have come out as the best in their respective games or sport. However, these athletes haven’t achieved their maximum potential yet.
What makes the winners stand out from the others in their chosen sport? The difference lies in the player’s self ability to manage the mental pressures brought about by the challenges of the sport. Having a prepared mindset will surely improve the player’s game ability and sports performance.
Being able to disregard both the external and internal distractions will help an athlete to have better focus and concentration to make their performance more consistent. The goal of refocusing one’s mindset will give the athlete confidence and relieve anxiety.
Mental training’s primary goal is for the athletes, professional or not, to reach the aspired level of performance. In this process, athletes intentionally achieve a high level of concentration and motivation. Engaging in mental training techniques also accelerates the healing procedure in athletes.
Being prepared allows the athlete to get their skills in high gear, hone the body for endurance, and set oneself into the right mindset for best performance.
Imagery in Mental Preparation Training
As you journey towards success, you use your imagination. You use pictures or images to look at the positive outcome of your life. Being able to use your imaginary skills well requires constant practice. Imagining the finish line is a wonderful plan used by athletes in preparation for a big game to improve their performance.
Knowing how to use images to attain a positive performance brings peace and relaxation to athletes. They would be inspired and motivated to give their best in the game.
Techniques for Mental Readiness
Numerous athletes are aware of the wonders brought about by mental training. Because of this simple technique, they were able to achieve their best game performances. Mental training or mental toughness training is a trending subject among athletes these days.
Athletes mentally train to enhance their reaction time and self-confidence. Being mentally prepared makes one also mentally challenging. A tough athlete can easily overcome the stress and anxiety brought about by the sport.
Athlete or not, anyone can benefit from learning the techniques in mental training to enhance their skills. Mental training is equally essential as eating healthy food and doing physical training or work.
Here are the techniques in preparing yourself mentally:
Preparation is a Must
The audience often times fails to see the hard work and the number of hours spent by the athlete or performer in training or practice. They only see the athlete’s skills such as dribbling, shooting, hitting of the ball or sports apparatus.
How much time, effort, dedication, and concentration do athletes and performers spend? To be mentally ready, one must prepare and invest in one’s self first. Whether in a sport, performing live, or any event, being prepared is the key to managing your fears, having confidence, and achieving success.
Acknowledge your Feelings
Fear is a strong feeling that everyone wants to hide. That is why phobias are being studied to understand better why fears exist. What are you afraid of the most? Ask yourself this question. Honestly answer it and, if possible, write it down. Once you know what you are fearful of, you can develop solutions on how to face your fear. A mentally strong person faces his fear head-on.
Learn to Control your Breathing
Being able to control your breathing can benefit both your physical and physiological process. The rapidity and depth of your breathing show whether you are nervous, tense, scared, or relaxed. Controlling your breathing will help lessen your nervousness.
If you can control your breathing, enough oxygen will be supplied to your brain. The control tower of your body can then regulate itself and make you calmer. This will help you think and decide more clearly.
Focus and Train Hard
Every athlete has to dedicate a considerable amount of training or practice every day to hone their skills. Every performer or artist should also invest enough hours in creating their masterpieces.
When you train and practice well, you acquire the necessary skills to be confident in your game or show performance.
Learn From Your Mistakes
A weak mind makes the person turn away from situations they cannot control. They prefer to be in situations that they can easily control or manipulate. They are scared of making mistakes, so they prefer the easy and controlled way. They easily develop self-doubt.
Making a list of things or situations beyond your control helps you deal with the matter in your mind easily. You can anticipate the possible outcomes of the situation, and you can prepare for it.
Everyone makes mistakes. Thus, everyone can learn from their mistakes made. Being honest towards yourself will make it easier for you to accept your shortcomings, and you will then be able to undertake calculated risks. You make better decisions and most likely succeed in your future endeavors.
Recognize Your Core Beliefs
Core beliefs are the reason behind every individual’s way of thinking, acting, and facing life’s difficulties. However, not all core beliefs are true. At times, these core beliefs are even caused by the influences of others.
It can be traumatic for a person when one of the core beliefs is challenged and came out to be wrong. It takes a mentally strong person to admit these negative beliefs and pursue a better belief system.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Who doesn’t want to leave their comfort zones? Honestly, no one. It is easier when you are wrapped inside your comfort bubble. You can gain self-tolerance when you gradually leave your comfort zone. This helps you strengthen your determination to face other complex tasks.
For example, talking in front of a huge audience is definitely not your comfort bubble. But, you have to push yourself to do it. Doing something uncomfortable signals the brain to make more connections to help you become calmer when facing situations requiring you to step out of your comfort zone.
Try Something New
They say, “Nothing is constant in this world but change”. A mentally strong person should be ready to deal with changes and see these as beneficial for his self-worth and well-being. Try to be around people who have different economic status, upbringing, and interests as you. Engage with people who have different perspectives in life. Travel and see the world.
This will surely bring you new experiences. Doing something fresh will make you look at yourself in the mirror every morning with a much stronger sense of self-pride, for you have conquered something new and different.
Celebrate the Small Wins
We are human beings, and we are not perfect. We don’t run on an unlimited supply of batteries. Life gets tough, and we can easily get tired out. So, celebrate the small wins. Rejoice in the improvements of your skills, for you have mastered the better and newer version of yourself today. Remember, you don’t have to win the Olympics to throw a party.
Being Prepared is Worth It!
What is your motivation to get up every morning? Are your skills in tip-top shape to compete? What are the mental techniques you should do? Having a positive self-mantra is a good start. Whether you are into sports, arts, live performance, or not, Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC) is here to be of service to you. KCC offers counseling to help you be more prepared to face life’s challenges.
We, at KCC, are always ready to talk to you and listen with both ears. Maybe you just need someone to talk to if you’re experiencing a mental health decline; we can help you. Book an appointment now so we can start your journey towards a stronger mind. Let us focus and set you up for success!