5 Keys to Mental Preparation

We’re less than one week away from the opening ceremonies for the Pan Am Games in Toronto. I’ve been working with a number of athletes that will be competing (Go Alex! Go Nicole!). I’m also pleased to be working with the team at CBC--which will be broadcasting the games--on content for their Pan Am web site.Here’s an excerpt from article where I share 5 tips on how you can be mentally prepared to compete. To read the whole article, visit the CBC site.

1. Build confidence To build confidence, indentify three things that go well in every practice and entering them in a journal. Take a look at that journal before competition, and you will see your successes and how far you’ve come.

2. Be aware of your challenges You need to be aware of both your strengths and your weaknesses. Challenges are opportunities for growth, so acknowledge them and learn to use them to your advantage.

3. Control the controllable Always look at the controllable within races, within games and don’t give the power to anybody else. Accept that you’re not going to be able to control everything, but have plans in place to deal with potential problems that might arise.

4. Visualize Visualization is a form of mental preparation that should start a few weeks out from competition. Visualization allows your brain and body to function more efficiently on competition day because less energy is wasted on managing the unexpected, leaving more brain power and physical energy available for the sport.

5. Set performance-related goals Goal setting is one of those highly used techniques that is often used incorrectly because a goal itself is not going to direct your behaviour. Setting a goal is the first step toward achieving success but the second and most important step is identifying the strategies that need to be completed in order to achieve that goal. Our bodies and brains are going to react differently in competition.

The athletes that work with me understand that physical training is the first step toward successful competitions but the performance edge is also built on mental preparation. Whether you’re an elite competitor or a recreational athlete looking to improve your performance, using these five strategies will help you bring your mental A-game to competition day.

To read more about each of my five tips, visit CBC. Do you struggle when it comes to game day? Share a comment or drop me a line, and let’s get started preparing your mind to achieve your goals.

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