I often get athletes who discuss an upcoming game/match/meet/competition in which they highlight how good their opponent is and how nervous they are for the performance. At some point or another all athletes will encounter a competition that brings with it a great challenge, but the mindset of the athlete can and often will dictate how well they perform. If an athlete gives all the credit to our opponents, solely focusing on how good the opponent is, they take away from their own talents and successes leaving them to feel fearful, defeated, and lacking confidence well before the game/match begins. There are several things an athlete to do to ensure that they don’t psych themselves out.
First, the athlete needs to keep their confidence up by focusing on the strengths and talents that they have that make them a fierce competitor. By keeping their attention on themselves they become motivated for the opportunity to display their talents and to excel against tough competition. Additionally, they view a successful outcome as not only possible, but likely.
Secondly, the athlete should view the game/match as an opportunity to raise their game- to push themselves to new levels. Ultimately, it is when an athlete is challenged that they grow and improve. As such, by viewing the competition as a challenge, the athlete feels in control of themselves, their performance, and the outcome. By doing so, they will enter the competition loose, relaxed, and able to reach optimal levels of performance. Whereas, if the athlete views the competition as one in which they are going to have a tough time, they are going to be too in their head, which will lead to errors, physical tightness, and an overall lackluster performance.
So, how is your mindset going into a big game/match/meet/competition? If you believe that your athletic performance could be suffering MVP Mentality Sports Psychology can help! Our office is located in Boca Raton, FL and caters to athletes of all ages and levels. Our director, Dr. Lauren Hennessy has an extensive background in athletic optimization through a Neurofeedback approach. Dr. Hennessy has studied multiple athletes and sports and is a licensed clinical psychologist. Learn how MVP Mentality Sports Psychology can help you overcome your mental blocks and optimize your athletic performance. Call 954-317-0551 today to speak with a sports psychologist or contact us online!