Want a Sport’s Mindset? Strategies to Get YOUR Head in Gear!

Do you enjoy a chosen sport? Are you keen to improve your skills? And, are you currently frustrated by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on your training regime? Here’s a few strategies for you or your team to continue to improve your game during lockdown and beyond.

A few years ago, I was asked to provide a two-hour coaching session for a young lady, who loved her sport but wasn’t sure what mindset coaching was for her.

As we got talking, I was immediately inspired by her success to date. She was within just a couple of years of starting her martial arts training and already competing at a national level! She was clearly passionate, talented and had great skills to exceed in her chosen sport; so, what further advantage could a mind coach have? And, what impact did we achieve?

Well, they do say that, “Sport is 10% physical and 90% mental”. And, everyone knows that not every promising sporting star meets their true potential. So, what is it that enables the elite stars to achieve that sporting edge?

Athletes are well aware of how physical conditioning can affect performance – but how aware are they of MENTAL conditioning? 

Sport is largely about strength in adversity, and that makes it particularly relevant in our current lockdown world. 

Sports coaches are now turning more and more to visualisation techniques, mental strength and positive outlook advice while their athletes are unable to fully address physical concerns during these unprecedented days. 

The power of imagined practice is huge…it reproduces the neurological routes that would occur if we performed the situation in reality” (Fisher, 1986; cited by Jiménez, 2007) 

How can athletes use this period of lockdown to work towards long term success? 

Athletes will be feeling the anxiety of being unable to train as they would wish at this time. Yet, it is a time when they can look to their creativity to prevent any dip in performance. 

Here are a few strategies athletes you can adopt NOW to maintain your success:

  • Awareness of health and physical needs – eat, sleep, purpose, planning. Pay close regard to each in turn. 
  • Develop an appropriate training regimen – maintain a routine, at the same time of day. 
  • Talk to your peers – you are not alone and discussion with others in the same situation will help 

All athletes know – MARGINS MATTER! And, mindset coaching with hypnotherapy and NLP, can open the door to achieve those marginal gains; so that you hone the ability to remain confident, stay motivated and improve stamina. 

As we continued talking, it became apparent that my young and aspiringly elite martial arts competitor’s thoughts were interfering with her game; not least the fact that she had only recently had her 13th birthday and was soon to be competing with girls much older and far more experienced than herself. As she said, the rest of the team grew up on the mat; hence, her belief that her competitors would easily secure their places on the international team, leaving her to stay at home! 

To address this limiting belief, we initially used an NLP Swish Pattern technique that enabled my client to imagine success. We then used NLP Anchoring techniques to ensure that when she stepped on the mat, she would feel in a powerfully emotional state to win. Thereafter, we used an NLP Timeline Technique to take her mind to the moment after she secured her success on the team and then noticed all the resources and steps it would take to get there. All of this was sealed into her unconscious via a nice, relaxing, trance; where she visualised her best performance yet. 

After the session, her mindset had completely changed. She believed in her talents, despite her age and went off to secure her place on the English team, with further mindset coaching to reach her potential. 

Whatever the sport and whatever the level, NLP and hypnosis can give every athlete the extra seconds, strength, centimetres that lay within the margins of where they are now, and where they want to be. Watch the video to find out more: https://youtu.be/k9eXO1fMdlY

Throughout the lockdown, I am making available to my local sports clubs a complimentary, one-hour online, group session to enable them to access the psychological side of their sport. 

Do get in touch on 07985 451650 to arrange a session for your team or squad. Or, to arrange 1:1 coaching to keep your “head in the game”.

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