5 COMMON MENTAL MISTAKES MADE BY ATHLETES
Achieve a mindset of a champion, enhance motivation and develop self-confidence for sports performance:
Athletes are performers. Every sports performance brings elements of expectation and pressure to perform. Due to these expectations, athletes can fall into common traps resulting in low self confidence and inconsistent performances.
Here are 5 Common Mental Mistakes the majority of athletes make and how to overcome them.
1. TOO NERVOUS. Every sports performance may bring a certain element of nerves. The reason is athletes are afraid to fail. Since they are afraid to fail whether that is losing or striking out at the plate, they are now afraid to make mistakes. Understanding nerves can be managed using logical thought processes among other techniques is a start. Athletes need to look at how they view "failure" and shift their mindset to want to grow & improve.
2. GIVE OPPONENTS/TEAMS TOO MUCH RESPECT. A lot of athletes, especially younger athletes assume that their opponents accomplishments automatically translate into points on the scoreboard against them. This is not true, but because they give up their dominance mentally their worst fears play out. This validates their false belief mainly because they did not put up a good, healthy fight. Understanding that the opposition is not perfect and dealing with their own pressures and performance struggles or injuries help even professional athletes reset their thinking toward the task at hand.
3. OVERTHINKING / OBSESS OVER WORST CASE SCENARIO. It takes the same amount of energy to think positive as it does to think negative. Youth athletes have not adopted this mindset shift mainly because they are not aware or fully understand it. The majority of athletes, especially student athletes over think and obsess over the worst case scenario. Currently there is a lack of knowledge on mindset training. When athletes set goals, and visualize performances to achieve them, they become more focused on specific tasks which help alleviate over thinking.
4. EXPECTING PERFECTION. We live in a world where a .300 batting average is well above average however expectations are that we must produce every time. No one is perfect, however many athletes are not prepared to handle an imperfect sports performance. Once things don't go as planned athletes fall apart and are not prepared to adjust. All athletes need a plan of attack (routine wise, offensive, or defensively) including adjustments, and trusting in their skill.
5. SELF-CONFIDENCE. Confidence is a topic that we are all familiar with, but often used to mislabel athletes. Every person has areas in their life they are more comfortable, and or confident in. Understanding that confidence is an emotion or feeling is a step in the right direction. Athletes who practice with an improvement mindset and focus on calculated preparation can build confidence in specific skills or situations.
These are just some common mental mistakes made by youth and student athletes. If you notice the majority of these issues occur before competition even begins!
Improving in sports is a never ending process, and does not happen overnight, however only a few high level athletes truly understand this. Being able to celebrate small victories and pass improvement stage gates significantly helps athletes deal with the daily grind.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
HEADSHARP has developed a program specifically to address these topics among others in a prioritized, systematic approach for athletes. The combination of learning, improving, shifting mindsets, and providing routines for athletes are key ways to break bad habits.
For more information on HEADSHARP visit our website: www.headsharp.com and download the HeadSharp app for mental skills training.
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