Watching any sports is surely different from doing the actual sports itself. It’s a common knowledge that athletes take a lot of time to make themselves fit and ready to play any game. In fact, sports fans tend to focus on the physical fitness of an athlete rather than their mentality.
Sports psychology is the science of how the mind affects an athlete’s physical capability and performance. This takes knowledge from other aspects like kinesiology and physiology. Each athlete is different, and the approach get them psychologically ready to perform also differ.
Even if there are different approach that coaches and psychologists have to condition their athletes, there are still a few things that you can teach yourself or learn on your own before getting into any sports.
If you are planning to prepare your mind before joining any sports, whether it’s collegiate or professional sports, then here are a few things that could help you out. These are things to consider to make sure you’ll have your mind prepared.
Setting Short-Term Goals
Choosing to set short-term goals instead of long-term ones will be better for you because it helps you focus on productive items instead. A short-term goal is more specific and could help you become productive.
Unproductivity will have negative effects on your mind, emotions, and concentration. These three are specifically the factors that you should work on to be mentally fit.
An example of a specific short-term goal in playing basketball is scoring 20 points in the first half. This will make you focused on scoring instead of wanting to win that early in the game. Once that is achieved, you’ll then have another goal or focus.
Build Your Confidence
Getting into any sports means getting into competitions. Competitions can only be won if you are confident enough with the skills that you have. Or if you don’t have the skill set needed just yet, your confidence that you can easily learn is still very important.
An NCAA study shows that 85% of athlete trainers believe that anxiety is a major issue that student-athletes face. There could be multiple factors that make these athletes have anxiety, but self-confidence is worth building up to avoid it.
Talking positively to yourself is one good way to attain self-confidence. You need to condition your mind that you’re capable of doing what’s expected from you. This is what athlete coaches do to. You’ll need to hear encouraging words to train your mind well.
Manage Your Emotions
Your emotions can affect any move and decisions you make whether you’re in a game or not. Even professional athletes still struggle with this from time to time. Think of when any sports game has become so intense that the players tend to get emotional. They end up attacking each other or even the referee.
There are many ways that you can strategize when it comes to managing your emotions. You don’t really have to shut your feelings down to be successful with this. You’ll really need to manage your critical thinking skills to avoid letting your emotions get on the way.
You need to think of the situation you’re in, weigh in the consequences, and what response will work best. Sometimes that could be tough if you only have a few seconds or minutes left to decide on things but training yourself to think critical on a regular basis will help.
Accepting Any End Results
Whatever it is you’re playing, whether it’s basketball, baseball, chess, or even simple card games like poker or blackjack, you always should condition your mind to strategically win. Even sports coaches know very well how important it is to plant this thought into their athletes for better focus.
However, before conditioning an athlete’s mind into winning, it’s also important to learn how to handle any end game results, like losing. Surely, a lost could make or break the outcome of a fight, but handling failure is essential for all athletes.
There are also different recovery strategies that athletes who are facing defeat can go through. What’s important is that after a defeat, an athlete should be mentally ready to get into another game. Being capable of winning again after a defeat is a skill and should help prepare an athlete to train again.
With all these psychological factors that you should work on before entering any sports, it’s important to understand why these are necessary. The thinking that being physically fit is already enough should be erased from your mind.
A great athlete is well-rounded and his involves being physically fit, mentally ready, and well-nourished. All of these will help you peak your performance as an athlete.