While physical training is certainly critical to making gains in your fitness realm, mental preparation is sometimes the key to your success in a workout or competition. Your mindset can be the make or break factor in whether or not you perform at your very best. Here are some ways to best prepare your mind for whatever comes your way:
- Deep Breathing. Take some time to sit or lay down and focus simply on breathing deeply. Being alone with our breath can help bring about mindfulness and create full immersion in the task at hand. This sense of being “in the zone” can help you compete and train with laser-like focus.
- Visualization. Mental practice and visualization have been used for years by athletes to help them prepare for competition. Visualize your success in whatever you are preparing for. Additionally, visualizing yourself overcoming some challenges that might occur can help you build confidence in yourself and your abilities!
- Mantras. Self-talk, whether positive or negative, can often become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation." Create your own mantra and replay it over and over again in your mind. Before you know it, it will be your way to push yourself past what ever obstacles are in your way!
- Reflect on Past Successes. Try to focus on some success you’ve had in the past. It could be a small event or milestone but be sure to avoid any ruminating on things you can’t control. By reminding yourself of your past successes and achievements, you will build confidence in your ability to perform well in the present.