Athletes are physically fit and focus more on physical fitness everyday to do their best. However, is physical fitness enough to succeed? Not really!
Sports is not always physical. There is another face of sports that not every athlete realizes. And those who do, certainly succeed, and are classified as elite athletes. The secret formula that many young athletes fail to see is the psychological side of sports. Mental power and mental training are a vital part of sports training. It does not really matter which sport you are into; mental training is important. I bet you have heard this everywhere! Your coach, your parents, your friends, and everyone would have told you, at some point that sports has a mental and psychological dimension to it. Do you know why it is important, and what happens when you actually practice it? Let us have a look!
The Human brain is the best supercomputer that ever has existed. Yes, really! We pour our credits to scientists who created rocket, and robot. But never credit the mind and the power of mind that led to the invention. Our minds are so powerful that we could achieve even the impossible. Scientists have identified that we become what we believe. They even gave it a name. The Law of Attraction!
The Law of Attraction is simple and yet powerful. You simply attract what you believe in. If you believe you will succeed, you will succeed. If you believe you will fail, then of course you will fail. When you do not believe in yourself, why should others believe in you? So, it is as simple as that. You attract what you believe in.
In sports, your mindset and your preparedness to win matters the most. When you compete, you compete against the best. Every individual you compete against are well trained, equally talented as you are, and could even be stronger than you. You never know!
But remember, the one who wins the game is someone who is trained both mentally and physically.
Mental training is something that will help you in being consistent with what you do. It provides a boost in confidence and brings the competitive best in you. Though you are an athlete, you are still human. You could be well trained, and yet, there is an emotional side of you. Controlling this emotion is what makes you a better athlete. Learning to keep your emotions away when you play will help you focus better on the game and be a good team player.
Sports psychology teaches you just that!
Only when you train with these components, you are training entirely. Many coaches would clearly tell you that sports is 90% mental, and the rest is physical.
Let’s pretend for one moment, you are a basketball player. You practically breathe basketball. You train so well, that dropping the ball into the basket has become something as simple as washing your face. When you play, the basket just attracts the ball like a magnet. You don’t need to think! You basically eliminate all your thoughts when you play. When you enter the court for practice, there is nothing around you that can stop you. You are focused, so focused, that you do not even hear your coach yelling at you, and your teammates running around trying to master the skills you have already mastered in. Your team looks up to you. They believe you will help them succeed! Your coach believes in you. Everything is in place.
And during the competition, you enter the game with several thoughts in mind. You think, “What if I miss?” “What if I let down my team?” “What if I ruin the game and my coach pulls me out of the game forever?”
While you must be doing the best in the game, numerous thoughts are racing in your mind that is keeping you from doing your best. You are out of focus and lose.
So, what do you call this?
This is your mental strength stopping you from using your physical and technical skills at the right moment.
It is absolutely normal for anyone to be scared. But, being scared at the wrong time, could disrupt what you could achieve otherwise. A right amount of fear is healthy. Cultivating the right amount of fear that will drive you to do your best, is what mental training will offer you.
Has this ever happened to you? If you answered yes, then mental training is what you are totally missing. Getting yourself mentally trained will stop you from ever being in this scenario. You will begin trusting yourself, your confidence will begin shaping you. You will learn to control your thoughts and will never let your thoughts and emotions control you.
Nevertheless, the basic problem with mental training is that you cannot do it like you train physically. For instance, if you train for an hour, and if I ask you what you did in the last hour, you can lay out a clear answer to it. But, in mental training, you do not know it is happening. It is done gradually. You will understand the fundamentals of managing your emotions, confidence, thought regulation, and maximize your training potential.
Your mental training can be laid out in two simple steps. The event and response cycle.
When you understand your event-response cycle, you simply master the mental training as well, and that is a key to success!