What is the Mental Game and why is it important for Peak Performance in Sports?
Does this happen to you while playing your sport?
What is the Mental Game and why is it important for Peak Performance in sports?
If you are an athlete at any level you have done physical preparation for your sport. Why do you do it? If want to have any chance at success in your sport you know you need to get your body in prime physical condition to succeed. You could probably get by without being in top condition but there is great satisfaction in knowing that you prepped your body well enough to compete at a high level. That is your Physical Game.
Think about all the time and energy you have put it in to your physical preparation. Now think about all the time and energy you have put into your mental preparation. How do they compare? Has there ever been a point in your competition or game where you felt you had your opponent dominated mentally? Has there ever been a point where your mind abandoned you, and it did not matter how well prepared your body was because you could not put the pieces back together upstairs in order to compete at a high level?
That feeling of dominance or the feeling of loss of focus and composure are characteristics of the Mental Game. Ideally you want a strong Mental Game, so you can say you have good Mental Strength in competition and training. Some people have a knack for it, they are driven and focused and exude confidence at all times. Other people have to work at it. Even the people that appear to have Mental Strength come naturally have spent time honing those skills and teaching themselves to believe they are capable of achieving their goals.
It takes work to have a strong Mental Game but it is within everyone’s reach. It takes dedication to a set of goals, it takes forming good mental training habits and it takes the time to sit down and make a plan to do it. It might sound like a lot but it can all be accomplished with as little as two, five minute sessions a day – one before and one after training or games. The benefits are greater success in your sport, the achievement of your goals and greater satisfaction with the time and energy you put in to your sport. You do not need to be a professional to have a strong Mental Game and to be a successful athlete, but it doesn’t hurt to think like one.