Athletic pursuits are about more than simply being faster or stronger, and the role that mental fortitude plays in sports and conditioning has come into closer focus as more athletes are coming closer to maxing out their gains in traditional training regimens. Whether you're looking to gain an edge in a competitive sport or while pushing your own limits, it's important to be in the right frame of mind. Getting there, however, may call for the help of someone who's familiar with athlete mental training methods.
Who Can Benefit?
Some endeavors benefit more from mental training than others, with folks in high-stress positions in competitive sports being the ones who often gain the greatest advantages. For example, the kicker position in football is highly mental. Every kick is about getting each step right and following through with as mechanically efficient of a motion as possible. Kickers are also asked to do their jobs at moments when all eyes are locked right on them.
Understanding how to compose oneself in such circumstances is critical to success. When one feels the stress of a situation building up, it can be beneficial to know how to get control of one's breathing and stay focused on what needs to be done rather than the meaning of the moment that's about to arrive.
Most athlete mental training services providers will start the process by assessing the current strengths and weaknesses of a particular client. A test is usually administered to understand how the client responds to different stresses, how well they concentrate with a lot of things going on and the ways they've learned to cope with circumstances that aren't entirely within their control. Working from this assessment, a trainer can then start building a program that reinforces existing strengths while finding ways to minimize weaknesses or learn to cope with them in a more structured manner.
As is the case with physical training, athlete mental training calls for plenty of repetitions and review. When a runner gets to a situation where they feel like they're hitting the wall, for example, they can try mental techniques they've learned to push through. When their next session with the trainer comes, they can then explain what they did and hear criticism regarding what they can do better. By having a professional to bounce their concerns off of, they also can break out of cycles of dwelling.