The psychological preparation of athletes for competitions is very important. Tournament participants need to learn how to keep mental balance throughout the competition because excitement is the main reason for unsuccessful results (even with good physical preparation). It is important to perceive the tournament as a holiday, and not as an action that you would rather want to survive.
Psychological preparation for the competition should be aimed at obtaining objective confidence in your own abilities (given the level of rivals). It is important to strive to maximize your skills and knowledge in order to ultimately achieve victory. But at the same time, you must also prepare for defeat, realizing that there are many participants in the competition, and only one will become the winner. With the right attitude, defeat will not be a “collapse” but a great opportunity to cultivate moral strength in yourself, as well as draw a number of conclusions that will help achieve success in the future. The last task of psychological preparation for sports competition is to train the ability to manage your feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Mental Preparation for Sports Performance Success
Tune in to victory
Self-doubt prevents an athlete from presenting himself as a winner. The athlete doubts that he deserves a prize, and sees himself in advance among the losers. There is nothing wrong with failure. Disbelief in one’s own strength is what truly breaks the spirit.
No one is born a winner. The one who was fortunate enough to stand on a pedestal has gone the hard way of training and constant nervous tension. All eminent masters were once ordinary children. And sometimes they were on the verge of losing faith in themselves. But they did not give up and curbed their fear. This helped them become professionals.
Find time for your favorite hobby
When there are only a few days left before the competition, you have less free time. And it’s better to spend it on nice things. Find time for your favorite hobby, take a walk with friends or go to a cultural and entertainment venue.
If you allow yourself a little joy, the energy will increase, and the level of stress will decrease significantly. The outstanding free hours should be devoted to activities that bring pleasure.
Do not be afraid of criticism
Аrom early childhood, athletes listen to other people’s opinions. They are criticized by coaches, parents and even strangers who watch the competition from the stands. And if the latter can be ignored, then the mentor’s words are difficult to ignore. And there is no need to do this.
The trainer gives constructive criticism, which helps to find weaknesses and eliminate them. He does not scold the ward and does not dislike you, he wants to give useful advice. This is an important part of becoming an athlete. Objective comments help to develop and not get stuck in one place due to unobvious errors.
Learn to keep calm
Many athletes are worried about tournaments because they imagine losing in all the colors. They think too much about the consequences of a negative outcome. Because of this, their performance decreases, their health deteriorates, and the results really turn out to be unimpressive.
A person tends to worry most in situations that do not threaten him with anything serious. Therefore, you should ask yourself the question: “What awaits me in case of loss?”. Failure in a competition is not the end of life. In any case, young athletes always have time to catch up.
With severe excitement, a person takes breaths more often than usual. The load on the heart increases, the pulse increases. The brain perceives a rapid heartbeat as a sign of danger. Because of this, a huge amount of cortisol and adrenaline is released into the blood. Under the influence of these hormones, it is difficult to assess the situation and calm down.
Learn breathing exercises. At the same time, you should keep your back straight. It is necessary to take a deep but short breath. After 4 seconds, you can make a long and full exhale. After that, you need to breathe for 5 seconds at the usual pace, then repeat the exercise.
Think of the upcoming tournament as a workout
Often a tournament is perceived as a doomsday. In fact, competitors are required to demonstrate all that they have learned in training. Therefore, the championship should be treated as the next training session. Opponents are small obstacles that will add interest, and judges are only outside observers.
Listen to cheerful music
Energetic rhythms, cheerful melody, motivating words, correctly chosen song will set the right mood. They will help get rid of fears.
When listening to such music, you can recall your previous achievements. Or moments when it was possible to perform a particularly difficult trick. This method is used by many accomplished athletes and coaches.
Watch motivating movies and videos
The plot of the films is often based on the fact that the main characters fall into a hopeless or fateful situation. But thanks to the ingenuity and hard work, they manage to turn events in their favor. Such a movie gives a boost of motivation and inspiration.
You can find a lot of such films on the net. Motivational videos about sports have no less effect. You can get a cheerful mood in a few minutes.
Get enough sleep and relax
Rest is important no less than training. Shortly before going to bed, you should take a warm bath. You can also drink mint or chamomile tea. The substances contained in these plants have a relaxing effect. A good book with a light fascinating plot will distract from unpleasant thoughts.
The bedroom should have fresh air. It is necessary to minimize extraneous sounds. You should not drink tonic drinks (coffee, tea, citrus juices) less than 6 hours before bedtime. You’d better refuse sleeping pills – they can be taken only as prescribed by the doctor.
Ignore the titles of your rival
Competition with a more experienced opponent is a great opportunity to improve your skills. But beginners often get nervous a lot. They are sure that the high status of the enemy will certainly ensure his victory.
But the star champion also has a hard time. He has many hopes, which he is obliged to justify. This heavy load can be a significant obstacle to the medal. But the newcomer will receive praise only because he was not afraid to go against the champion.
Perform small physical exercises
Excitement causes muscles tension, which can interfere during the competition. To relieve excess tension, you can do one of the following exercises:
- Lay your head back and slowly turn it from left to right, and then relax. Next, you need to pull your shoulders to your ears and, maintaining this position, tilt your chin to your chest;
- Take a breath and squeeze your palm with such force that the whole arm is tense. As you exhale, you need to relax it, paying attention to the growing sense of relief. Repeat for the other hand. Right-handed people should start the exercise with the right hand, left-handed people – with the left;
- Toughen the abdominal muscles, then reduce the shoulder blades and arch the back. Repeat 3-4 times.
You can also do a light massage of the hands, rubbing the palms and fingers.
Approach the matter with a sense of humor
A positive attitude will eliminate anxieties and nervousness from your life. A witty joke helps defuse the situation and cheers you up. The ability to find something fun in a difficult situation is not easy. You should be confident in yourself. You should realize that no matter how serious the problem is, you will find the strength to deal with it.
Remember that sarcasm and black humor are not helpers in this situation. These tricks show not the joker’s vitality but cynicism and causticity. To choose the right topic for witticisms, pay attention to details, draw non-trivial analogies. You can exaggerate everyday events, mentally bringing them to ridiculous proportions.
Now you know how to tune in to win the competition. Train your body, work on your positive attitude. You can do it!