3 Reasons Why Mental Training Is Important
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3 Reasons Why Mental Training Is Important

Devot the time needed to be mentally strong

3 Reasons Why Mental Training Is Important
Ashley Wagner

For any student-athlete mental training is half the battle and the other half is the physical aspect of the sport. Most individuals don't realize how important mental training really is until they are stuck with their own mental block or issues. Any athlete will tell you that they have become filled with sayings in their head like, "I cant do it", "I will be such an embarrassment", "What if I fall?", and these are the negative thoughts being fed into your mind, but how you handle these thoughts determines your mental strength.

I'm not a mental training expert, but I can share a few tips/ideas that might help you before a competition/tournament or even just daily in practice that will help improve the mental side of your sport.

1. Use a visualization technique

Visualizing can do wonders for your nerves if you do it properly. When you're picturing that move or performance it is ideal to do this in a quiet location where you can sit and relax. However, you can really visualize anywhere. Take deep breaths, close your eyes, and begin visualizing. Whatever you might be picturing go the extra mile with it, and what that means is picture every detail, notice everything that is happening, engage your sense, and picture yourself performing that move or an entire performance at your best. Once you are done with the visualization note the feelings of accomplishment, and comment something positive from the exercise.

2. Fill your mind with positive thoughts

In a time of extreme stress, or nerves one of the best things you can do is to feed in those positive thoughts. Try: "My practices have been going really well, and getting stronger." "I'm grateful to be able to (insert the sport that you do)." "The weather is beautiful today." "I am feeling super and ready to perform at my best." Anything along these lines can just give you that sense of ease. They don't all have to relate to your sport, and can simply be about anything.

3. Changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts

We all know that those negative thoughts come to us at the worst possible times, but its essential to change them as soon as they arise. Some options that you can do is catch the negative thoughts, add positive thoughts after you catch it, picture yourself cancelling the thoughts with a bright, cancelling sign, completely alter the negative statement into something positive.

There are so many more ways that you can improve your mental strength in daily life or in your sport. More tip/tasks/ways I would highly recommend reading, "Skating Out of Your Mind" by, Cal Sutliff. Most of the information that I gathered from the article came from his book, and it has done wonders for me. Now the book does focus on figure skating, but can easily be applied to other sports, and even daily life. Mental training is not easy, but it is definitely worth it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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