[Thrive into the Weekend: A blog series designed to empower athletes to thrive in life and sport by encouraging intentional action]
By Kate Bennett, PsyD
Athletes achieve success when preparation meets hard work. Without the hard work, athletes will not be physically fit enough to compete with other athletes in good form. Likewise, without mental preparation before events, athletes will struggle to concentrate during key moments despite hoping for peak performance.
Building off my post earlier this week, identify one specific routine to try in the moments before your next performance. You may choose to use goal setting, visualization, positive affirmations, or breathing techniques. After you select a skill to try, take a moment to visualize yourself practicing the new skill prior to competition. Settle into a chair with your feet flat on the ground, take a few deep breaths, and imagine yourself utilizing the skill before your event starts. Will you be at the car, in a locker room, to the side of a start line/field/pool/etc, or in a quiet place you find during your warm-up? What will you say, think, and do in that moment to ground yourself and focus your attention on the upcoming performance? How will you feel as you line up at the start? Thrive into the Weekend by practicing mental preparation before you hit the scene of your next event.