If you want to see true changes, you need to make sure your mind is set to it.
Many athletes, besides training a lot and focusing on maintaining a well-balanced body, keep their mindset on their goal: winning. No race was ever won without inspiration, determination, and motivation.
‘Humans are attracted to the bigger goal that they can see in a year’s time,’ says Hugh Gilmore, a psychologist at the English Institute of Sport, ‘but if you want to win in the future, you have to focus on What’s Important Now (or WIN). Stalled progress or even failure is only feedback – performance is a journey and it’s supposed to challenge and develop you. Therefore, it’s important to ask yourself, “How is this challenging me, and what is this challenge developing in me?” Prioritizing and planning are key psychological skills which underpin success.’
A term all athletes (and psychologists) normally refer to is mental grit
‘This term has been created by academics and is a relabelling of another psychology phrase, “conscientiousness”. The term is not as important in applied psychology – aka psychology that solves practical problems. It’s more to do with how you think about what mental grit can help you achieve. If you think that being “grittier” would help you to get out of bed in the morning and train before work, then set your alarm and plan to do it. One of the key fitness tips that we can learn from is that setting precise plans predicts behavior. Instead of using terms like “mental grit”, just ask yourself what dedication could help you physically do, and then plan to do that. Doing is being,’ says Gilmore.
From a sports perspective, training every day is one thing, but training in adverse conditions that push you out of your comfort zone is a whole different thing.
So, while winning might be the goal, if you push yourself harder and you overcome diverse obstacles, you will find satisfaction and a sense of fulfillment.
‘Preparation is the biggest source of confidence. This is why performance reviews are critical after the last race, as they allow you to get ready for the next one. I tell athletes that preparation is always positive if you focus on the positive facts about your performance. In elite sport, it’s often said that how fast we learn is our only advantage. The more you know about your previous performances, the easier it will be to come up with a solid race plan, and react to different venues and conditions.’
These guidelines will help you shift your mindset towards your goal, what are you waiting for?