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Mental Preparation for Peak Performance

Blog content provided from the legendary team at Northern Inland Academy of Sport

We all may feel like we need to physically and mentally prepare before a big event in our life. Maybe it’s representing your state at a national sporting event, maybe it’s pitching a new strategy at work to the big boss, or maybe it’s getting ready for that final exam. Whatever you are preparing for, gaining that right frame of mind is essential to performing at your best.

There are a whole range of strategies you can use to help get psychologically ready for peak performance and to conquer what you set out to achieve, let’s unpack a few ideas.

Confidence

Building your own confidence can increase your self-esteem levels, making you feel better about yourself, which in turn can reduce your stress levels holding you back from performing at your best. Increasing your self-confidence can help you visualise your ability to succeed and generate more positive thoughts helping you to become more resilient.

Positivity

This is similar to increasing your self-confidence. Generating more positive thoughts will increase your confidence and self-belief that you can achieve what you’ve set out to do. Eat healthily, exercise regularly, surround yourself with positive affirmations, and practice mindfulness to help keep your positivity going.

Goal Setting

Setting yourself short- and long-term goals in what you want to achieve can help with internal motivation. Reaching short term goals can give you positive reassurance that you are on your way to reaching your long-term goals. This can also help you to maintain your focus on the task at hand and worry less about irrelevant distractions that are detracting your mind from the greater focus. Goal setting may not come easy for everyone, but like everything, practice makes perfect – if you’re struggling with these goals, you may need to rethink them ensuring they’re achievable.

Visualisation

Many high performing athletes across the world visualise their performances. Whether this is competing at a world stage event, or implementing the right technique in a training session, it is very common for them to do this. Why? Because visualising what you want to achieve will guide your subconscious mind to actually doing it…over time. It will help keep a focus on what your body should be doing to achieve optimum performance. Visualising isn’t just for high performing athletes, it can be a great mental preparation method for everyday life too! Whilst this is not the easiest psychological method to master, you can find some tips on practicing it here.

Implementing a range of strategies to help mentally prepare for your peak performance is critical to how you perform.

Implementing ways to help alleviate stress, self-doubt, and negative emotions will improve your focus levels and increase your mental strength in challenging times.  Building towards visualisation and increased confidence levels will help you in your journey to achieve the outcomes you want to.

Hopefully a few of these ideas can help set you on the right path to prepare for your training ahead!


To learn more about fitness and wellbeing visit the Wellness Hub.

If you need a little more inspiration why not check out the athletes from NIAS as they launch back into training here!