Mindset Training can be of great benefit to Athletes, Coaches, and Parents. This will be a 3 part series. Part 1 will cover what Mindset Training is and how Mindset Training can benefit athletes. Part 2 will cover how Mindset Training can benefit coaches. Part 3 will cover how Mindset Training can benefit parents.
What is Mindset Training?
Athletes at all levels and in all sports are utilizing Mindset Training (sometimes known as mental conditioning). I choose the term "Mindset Training" because I believe the tools set forth in most mental conditioning programs will only have an impact if an athletes Mindset is right (you must have the proper foundation before building the house).
In order for an athletes Mindset to be right, creating the foundation for success, they must truly believe that they are in control of their growth and development. Many athletes believe that their development is outside of their control. They may believe that factors like genetics, the weather, referees, teammates, or their opponents play a role in their potential for growth and development. Mindset Training puts the athlete in charge of their growth and development. Once an athlete has the right Mindset they can begin using mental conditioning skills that will allow them to continuously achieve a mental state that will be most beneficial for their ongoing growth, development, and success.
So the question is...
How Can Mindset Training Benefit Athletes?
There are several ways in which Mindset Training can benefit athletes:
1. Mindset Training Can Help An Athlete Overcome Fear.
Fear can show up for an athlete in many different forms:
-A fear of change or trying new things. Some athletes shy away from learning new things, knowing that something new may be hard and often a bit scary. They would rather not experience "failure," so they stick with what feels comfortable.
-A fear of "big situations" and the fear of "choking" in these situations.
-A fear of giving their best effort, or competing to the best of their abilities. If they give their best effort and lose, they may feel like they are not good enough, or that they do not belong.
Fear can mean certain doom for an athlete. In all the scenarios above an athlete will give up chances for growth and development if their fear overcomes their ability to compete to the best of their abilities.
Now imagine an athlete that is eager to try new things (overcoming the fear of change). This athlete takes instruction well (coaches love this and will invariably put more investment in the athlete) and they are constantly pushing the envelope in an attempt to learn and grow.
Imagine an athlete that loves the spotlight (overcoming the fear of big situations). With each "big situation" this athlete will develop stronger and stronger mindset skills that will benefit them as they move forward in their athletic career.
Imagine an athlete that always competes to the best of their abilities (overcoming the fear of giving their best effort). This athlete will always know where his or her athletic abilities match up and in turn will know what he or she needs to work on in order to continue to grow and develop.
ALL athletes have the ability to overcome their fears. Mindset Training can help them understand that their fears can work for them, not against them. As an athlete learns to deal with fear, put fear in it's place, and actually thrive on fear, an athlete will have the greatest chance for ongoing growth, development, and success.
2. Mindset Training Can Help An Athlete Develop Supreme Confidence In Their Abilities.
Self confidence plays a huge role in an athletes development. Without confidence an athlete will undoubtably struggle with the ups and downs that are encountered regularly in sport. A less confident athlete will shy away from intense competition and invariably settle for lower levels of competition that feel more safe. Safer levels of competition will limit the athletes ability to grow and develop.
An athlete that learns the proper mindset, a mindset that allows them to focus on controllable factors like great effort and focusing on the process, will always compete with confidence. In this athletes world it does not matter who they are competing against, because they are truly only competing against themselves. An athlete can develop supreme confidence if they understand what is within their control and learn how to mentally and physically put themselves in the best position for success. Mindset Training can give an athlete these tools and in turn the best chance for ongoing growth, development, and success.
3. A present minded focus.
The ability to put aside distractions and focus on the task at hand is enormous in the world of athletics. Athletes are constantly bombarded with both positive and negative distractions. Athletes that can move past these distractions give themselves a developmental advantage over those that can not.
The ability to move on to the next play, the next pitch, or the next shot is also imperative in the world of athletics. The ability to move on is a differentiator between good and great. Athletes that can move on and regain a present moment focus give themselves the best chance for ongoing development and success. Athletes that can not move on stay locked in the past, giving up chances to learn and grow.
Mindset Training can give an athlete the tools to be present minded and the training to be able to quickly move on to the next play, next pitch, or next shot. This ability stems from an understanding of the importance in being present and the training reps required to both physically and mentally move on from setbacks.
4. A passion for their sport.
Athletes that are truly passionate about their sport will undoubtably show the greatest growth and development. Athletes with the proper mindset choose to give great effort. Athletes with the proper mindset choose to compete to the best of their abilities. Athletes with the proper mindset put in the work when no one is watching. The reason these athletes are able to do this...they are passionate about their sport. More passion leads to greater enjoyment. Greater enjoyment leads to the desire to work hard. The desire to work hard leads to optimal development and success.
An athletes passion comes from many places. Mindset Training can help an athlete discover what drives their passion and can in turn help the athlete focus daily on fueling that passion. An athlete must understand what motivates them, what drives them, and what makes them happy. They must understand what things help build their passion and how to access those things on a regular basis. They must also understand what factors suck the life from their passion. Mindset Training can help an athlete recognize and steer clear of these negative factors.
No two athletes are alike in their Mindset Training needs. Some have no fear, but have a hard time staying present. Others have great confidence in their abilities, but struggle to consistently find passion in their training. Athletes that can be aware of their Mindset strengths and weaknesses, and work to develop their weaker areas, will undoubtably give themselves the best chance for optimal growth, development, and success.
Thanks for taking the time to read this blog. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org