Besides having a great training programme, having your nutrition sorted and including the right rest and recovery, sometimes the mental side of training can be the toughest obstacle you’ll face in getting to your full potential as an athlete.
Creating a mindset for success is essential, and maintaining that mindset is what could separate you from your competitors. Change the way you look at life and training and you could change the outcome of your efforts.
Below is a list of pointers which you can use to make sure that you’re always pushing yourself in the right direction, even when the going gets tough and mentally you’re losing focus or are distracted by any of life’s curve balls.
Regardless of how bad a day you might have had, stick to your schedule. Consistency separates good athletes from great athletes, so suck it up and keep to your planned training and rest. Consistency will get you much closer to achieving your goals. Read this great feature on consistency to give you a better overview.
Check Your Ego
Stick to your programme and stick to what you can do. Yes, if you’re feeling great and could potentially PB on your snatch or 10km run, grab the opportunity, but recognise that moment rather than thinking that every day is that moment. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up for having a bad day. Let it be and approach tomorrow with the view to do better than yesterday.
Forget about everything else, especially those life distractions getting you down, and stay in the moment. Focus 100% of your attention on what you’re doing in training. By doing this, you give your mind a break from the outside life and more importantly you will do a lot better at training, which should also boost your moral. Read this great feature on mindfulness in sport for in-depth info.
Setting goals allows you to hold yourself accountable, outside of consistently sticking to your schedule, and it gives you the opportunity to track progress and visualise where you are and how far you’ve come. Setting goals helps keeping you motivated! Read this feature on how goal setting improves motivation and performance.
Rest and recovery not only help you with ensuring you’re good to go during training or competition, but they play a vital role in your mindset. Read this great article on the important of sleep and you’ll see how getting your sleep right will not only help recovery, but give you less stress, combats depression and has positive effects on general health.
Fight Through It
Everyone has a bad day. Even a horrifically terrible day. The key is to just fight through it and train. Even if it means keeping your head low and staying a bit more to yourself, make an effort to stay consistent as mentioned above. The fact that you made the effort, stuck to your plans and went, even on a bad day, will pay off and you’ll likely feel better for it afterwards. See it as an opportunity to get away from whatever has you down, even for a moment or two.