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Coffee & Coaching Episode 10: 3 Reasons why you need to work on your Mindset as an Athlete

Episode 10

Title: 3 Reasons why you need to work on your Mindset as an Athlete

Episode Length: 13 min (Can watch the episode or read the blog below)

About the Episode: 

When training for a big event or working towards a goal in sport, we are all quick to create a plan for our physical training.... however, most of us don't invest anywhere near the same amount of time or effort in working on our mindset. In this episode, we share 3 Reasons Why you need to work on your Mindset as an Athlete. 

Watch the Replay 

Or if you don't have time to watch the replay, you can read our summary of what's covered below! 

So today we’re going to chat about the 3 reasons why you need to work on your mindset as an athlete. 

We are just in the process at the moment of putting the finishing touches on our Mindset and Motivation online course. Which will be available for you guys really soon! If you’re keen to become a more resilient athlete and master your mindset and motivation you can join the waiting list - links in bio, comments and if listening later. 

I know that mindset can often be a bit underestimated when it comes to sports performance. While most of us can probably acknowledge that our mindset has an impact on how we train and how we race, we probably don’t actually dedicate time each week to really working on and improving our mindset. Sometimes that’s because we don’t really know just how big of a role it can have, sometimes it’s because we just don’t really know how to go about it. Which is completely fair enough. You don’t often find mindset strategies in your triathlon training program, however, these are things that we cover in a lot of detail in our online course.

I’m not sure if many of you have watched the new Netflix Documentary the Last Dance - covering Michael Jordan's time at the Chicago Bulls? I don’t follow basketball at all, however, I love a good docco so I was quick to watch it. And while watching the progression of this all-time sporting legend, one of the things that stands out is his mental toughness. His absolute internal drive to win, to get the absolute best out of himself again and again and again. His passion for his sport. It definitely leaves you with no doubt in your mind that the strength of his mindset played a massive role in his success as an athlete. 

So let’s get started! The first reason why you need to work on your mindset is…..

Because it improves your physical performance

The physical benefits of working on your mindset are probably the ones that come to mind first. And you’ve probably experienced them yourself in training and racing. 

Being mentally strong allows you to push yourself to your limits…. And really see what you’re physically capable of. Someone who doesn’t have that toughness to their mental state is more likely to falter when an obstacle pops up or give in when things start to get hard….. Even though they’re physically capable of tackling the challenge. 

However, if you have really worked on your mindset you’re going to be able to do things like 

  • Set realistic goals that motivate you to work hard in training and push yourself in racing
  • Overcome anxiety you feel before a race or a hard training session and use those butterflies to your advantage
  • You’ll be able to identify when/if you’re feeling low in self-confidence and put some strategies in place to boost it so you perform better more consistently
  • Use self talk at the right times to get you in the right headspace during, before or after training and racing 
  • Use tools like imagery and visualisation well 

Often it is not just the most physically fit athlete that comes out on top of the competition. It’s the one who YES is physically prepared, but it’s also the person who has the mental resilience to do with pain, deal with things going wrong and stay strong when under pressure and fatigue

I’m sure you guys can probably look back on times when your head has maybe gotten the better of you….. Or times when maybe you know your mindset has been the reason you executed really well. E.g. the last FTP test I did…. I had been inconsistent with my training in the lead-up and struggled in many of the sessions, so didn’t think I’d be improving. However, I gave myself a massive pep talk before I got started

Because a happy athlete is a faster athlete

Another reason why you should work on your mindset is that it will make you a happier athlete…… and a happy athlete is a faster athlete. For most of us, one of the main reasons we participate in sport is because it’s fun, we enjoy doing it and it makes us happy ……. So the fact that working on your mindset will help make our sport, training and racing a more enjoyable experience is definitely reason enough to invest some time into it. 

It is definitely a nice feeling to be confident in your ability/what you’re doing, it’s nice to be able to control any anxiety you feel in sport, to be able to control your emotions during the performance and to have goals set that really motivate and excite you! It’s nice to feel all those things and to feel in control, I know feeling that way definitely makes me enjoy what I am doing a whole lot more

Because it’s contagious 

This last reason is probably one you may not have thought much of before, it definitely can fly under the radar. What I’m saying here is that the mindset of one affects the mindset of many - your mindset and your attitude is contagious to those around you. So make it worth catching I say! Make it a mindset that not only benefits you, but that inspires others as well. 

If you’re training in a squad environment I know you can probably think of those athletes around you who have a generally positive attitude. They bring others up and inspire those around them to try their best, regardless of what that is. Then you can probably think of others who seem to have more of a negative mindset, they tend to adopt more of an ‘I can’t’ attitude, which if you’re around frequently can be quite demotivating and frustrating to be around. That person may only have that attitude because they lack self-confidence at training, they doubt themselves and they express that verbally. 

Have a think about the type of athlete you want to be in a group, and think about working on your mindset if you need to.

If you’re training solo then the mindset you have impacts on the family and friends around you. It has the potential to inspire others to give triathlon a go or to invest some more time into their fitness or finding a new active hobby. It also makes them way more likely to enthusiastically support you in your goals. If you’re negative about your training they’ll probably grow tired of hearing about the sport, and coming along to cheer you on race day becomes a chore. 

While triathlon is technically an individual sport, I think we all know that it really takes the team around you to make your goals a reality. So it’s important to consider how your mindset is affecting them too, and if you think it’s something you need to improve then take some time to work on it! 

Ok, that brings us to the end of our 3 reasons why you need to work on your mindset as an athlete! I hope that this has helped to give you just a little insight into why your mindset is so important as an athlete and maybe made you consider investing a little bit more time into strengthening yours!

As I mentioned earlier, we are just in the process of completing our Motivation and Mindset online course, which will be available for you guys very soon. In the course, we cover a lot of the topics I’ve mentioned today: Motivation & Goal Setting, Anxiety in sport, Mood & Emotion, Self Talk, Self-Confidence, Imagery & Visualisation to give you the tools you need to become a much more resilient athlete. If you’re interested in completing the course enter your details in the links provided to be on the waitlist, and the first to know when it’s ready for you!

Ready to take your performance to the next level and become a more resilient athlete? Join the waitlist to be the first to know when our Mindset and Motivation course is available..... and secure a special discount! You can join the waitlist HERE

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