Mental training #1 (please everyone read!)

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    What is mental training?

    As athletes we train technical (technique) and physical (run, ski etc.) a lot. We focus most of our time on this. However, when one asks an athletes what % do they think their sport is mental vs physical they often say its “80% mental, 20% physical”. Reflect for a moment on what % you would give…

    When I have asked this question to athletes I usually get somewhere between 60-99% mental… so if our sport is a “Highly mental sport” it would then be important to make sure we work on our mental skills….right?

    We have worked on these before, in goal setting sessions, meetings and practices…. sometimes without knowing it. I would like to start some formal education and I think the forum is a good place for some mental Wisdom.

    Enjoy… Todays topic “Positive outlook”.

    Positive Outlook: Athletes must always remain positive and avoid negative thoughts that bring them down. It is a state of mind that can be learned and developed in all athletes/people. Positive self talk is a tool to help. Repeating positive statements to yourself creates confidence. These can be “I am a great shot”, “I love shooting”, “I am a fast skier”. All athletes have areas that need work (ski technique, nutrition, etc), this is normal. However, if one constantly dwells on what they are bad at and doesn’t take time to remind themselves what they are good at they will have a tough time improving. If an athlete is having trouble changing something in their technique they must look optimistically at the situation “I will learn this because I am an extremely capable person and I will work hard at it”. Everyone is a capable person if you believe yourself to be!!!

    Words of Wisdom:
    “Whether you think you are or whether you think you aren’t, you are right”- Anonymous
    “They can because they think they can.”- Virgil
    “Believe you have it, and you have it”- Latin Proverb

    so believe in yourself!

    Re-shaping your thoughts: Negative thoughts are normal, they happen. When they do happen you must re-shape the thought into a positive thought. i.e. “Man I am never going to get this” turns into “I will get this because I know I am fully capable to make the change, it will just take work and time”. If you can re-shape your thoughts well over time you will have less and less negative thoughts and you will become an extremely confident person.

    Positive TEAM: Be positive with your teammates! They don’t need you filling their head with negative talk, what they can always use is you filling their head with positive talk!

    “Man, you are a great shooter”, “Your ski technique has improved so much”, “I really appreciate how positive you are all the time”.

    The need to put down others comes from ones own insecurities. Confident people never put down others, they don’t need too. We are confident people! We are all highly skilled individuals in most aspects of life (nobody is perfect) and we are all capable of being what we want to be. We do not need to out down ANY other people. We will encourage our most brutal adversary. We will be happy for our competitor’s success because we know when they get better it pushes us to get better! This is a big positive for our team.

    When a teammate gets better they pull the rest of the team along to a higher level. We need to encourage teammates and provide the positive environment for our team to get better so they can pull us higher while we push them higher at the same time. What I have seen on many teams is an athlete improves and the others immediately attack them with negative talk (often disguised in humor) to “Take them down a peg”. This leaves everyone in a worse situation because not only are you impeding your teammate to improve as much as possible but you are also hurting yourself by not allowing the teammates to pull you higher, you are also wasting your energy on negative thoughts. One needs to recognize that the need to do this is due there own insecurities and that it gets you nowhere.

    We are talented, we are skilled, we can do anything we set our minds too. Athletes become successful people in most aspects of life; you are already ahead of the curve by just committing to sport. Reflect on what you bring to the team (everyone brings something different to the team), what your strengths are as a person and let’s help each other to become not only better athletes but better people.We have an amazing team, let’s take advantage of that by being positive and encouraging with each other!

    Sound good? It starts now….

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