In my experience working with strength and conditioning, the physical preparation is extremely important, but in the broader context of sport and competition, good preparation simply gives you the opportunity to compete at a higher level. I think the psychological side will set you apart on the day.
It’s competition day tomorrow. Take a moment to reflect on your mindset – are you ready? If not, it may be worth taking time to prepare.
Confidence & Self belief – Reflect on the good times to boost your confidence. The tackles, the goals, the PBs, and the wins. Remember how great you really are. If you’re struggling with confidence, experts suggest you “fake it till you make it” – fake your confidence so your opposition believes it, and eventually so will you.
Desire & Drive - Who wants it more – you? or your opposition? Turn a 50-50 contest into an 80-20 contest in your favour by simply wanting it more. One successful contest, one turnover, one goal could be all it takes to win a game. And you could be the catalyst.
Where is your focus – winning, or not losing? What you want to achieve, or what you want to avoid? If you want to win, your focus is on winning. If you want to avoid losing, your focus is on losing. It doesn’t matter who your opponent is. Focus on your goal. Your focus will dictate your energy, actions, and performance.
What you can control - Focus on what you can control, and what you can change between now and the event. Start with yourself. Avoid thinking about what you cannot control, which usually just increases anxiety and stress for no actual benefit.
Attitude – A positive attitude can spread and lift an entire team. And in return, their attitude can lift you. Remember to celebrate every successful pass, turnover, tackle, and goal. And remember to forgive and lift your teammates when they make an error.
Work ethic – Reflect on your work ethic, and turn it up another notch. Your ceiling is higher than you think. Practice like you’ve never won, perform like you’ve never lost.
No fear, No regrets - The biggest mistake you can make is being afraid to make one. Fear stops creative thinking – how can you think out of the box if you are afraid of making an error? Play without fear so when you walk off, you have no regrets.
Remember - Never delay chatting to your coach or health professional about effective mental preparation!
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