In this article, we address the issue of Mental Training for Sport, which will help you improve your daily sports performance, especially in competitive events. Physical preparation isn’t everything, the mind is important too.
Advantages of mental training in sport
The deep connection that exists between the practice of physical exercise or sport and the wellbeing and health of our mind and brain is more than evident in the scientific literature, and more developed nowadays in the field of Neuroscience too.
Sport facilitates neural connections, a sense of general well-being and physiological and chemical processes, which positively affect the health of our systems and our brain.
How do you psychologically train an athlete?
Elite athletes dedicate a good part of their daily routine to mental training through different relaxation techniques, visualisation and other tools. They therefore attach great importance to the psychological aspect.
It’s important to note that we’re referring not only to physical performance in training, but also to our performance in all areas of our life: personal and professional.
A clear, calm and strong mind will provide us with general well-being in all areas: life, recreational sport and professional sport.
Mental health is the most important thing if we want to perform well in everything we do, not just sports activity. Get to know what Mental Training for Sport is.
Mental factors involved in performance training
How do we train the mind to improve our performance? Keep the following points in mind:
Improving our relationship with ourselves, using optimistic and appropriate language, will help to improve our confidence in what we do.
Working from self-knowledge will help you to learn how you’re truly feeling and how to improve.
Finding internal and external sources of motivation will help us improve our sporting performance and stay committed to the training plan.
While being motivated by external factors can be very practical and useful to improve performance at specific moments, it is more important to develop a real personal motive that keeps you permanently connected to your goal and all that needs to be done to achieve it.
Maintaining a state of mindfulness and concentration on what we’re doing, or what we’re about to do, eliminating any distractions or levels of anxiety, allows us to put all our energies into doing our best, thus improving our performance.
Controlling our Emotions
Emotions, both positive and negative, can be a source of motivation to improve our performance.
However, too much or too little can work against us.
Tips for controlling stress levels in competitions
The nerves of competition put our body and mind in a state of alarm for the upcoming events.
In one sense, they can be positive, making you more focussed and giving you greater concentration levels.
However, not knowing how to manage those nerves, when they’re excessive, can negatively affect your perception and physiological state. So here are some tricks that might work for you:
- Create your mental mantra and repeat it constantly: positive affirmations that will give you confidence in yourself.
- Visualise yourself during the competition: imagine yourself doing well, what sensations you’ll have, how you’ll move…
- Take a few minutes to control your breathing and pay full attention to it: this will help you shut yourself off from the outside agents that cause increased nervousness and will help regulate your nervous system too. These tips will help you control your nerves and focus your attention.
- In addition to those mentioned in the article, check out these other benefits of sport for the brain.
- How to carry out Mental Training: click here.