As a competitive athlete and strength coach, I can say with the utmost confidence that mindset is everything when it comes to performance. Whether you are at the Olympic level, a local athlete, or your average Joe looking to drop a couple lbs, if you are not in a state of mind where you can be motivated, or look to improve day in and day out, it’s going to be a lot tougher to get to where you want to be.
There are numerous studies done on how things like positive self talk and visualization helps us as athletes and humans to perform at their highest level. As a competitive powerlifter, I can attest to the fact that these two things are amazing tools in preparing mindset for competition. On my journey to my first Raw Nationals in 2017, I would go on long walks every single day. I used these walks as an opportunity to visualize myself squatting my goal weight, benching my goal weight, and deadlifting my goal weight over and over and over again. Every morning I would wake up and tell myself how close I was to competition and how I was going to crush my training that day. This put me automatically in that positive mindset every morning. Studies show that motivation is highest first thing in the morning (why most people are good on their diets until 6pm rolls around), by setting yourself up for success in that time, it sets the rest of your day up for a win. The consistency of this set me up for a successful National Prep and into breaking records at the State level.
What Motivates You?
As a coach, I encourage and stress to all my athletes to find the thing that will put them in a positive mindset, because there will come days when motivation is low. Having something that keeps them determined and in the right mindset can help them to remember their goals on these days. Whether it be a specific person who motivates them, a competition they have to qualify for, a certain place in time they want to be in result of their hard work, etc. As an athlete I was always motivated by thinking of the people that would be watching me. There were certain people who I always wanted to be better for. The tough days became easier to get through because I wasn’t about to let those people down.
Remember Your Goals
In building up our Juniors here at Par4Success, we make sure they all have specific goals they want to hit. As coaches, some of our goals for them include building strength, endurance, and increasing performance. Consistency and mindset will be two huge factors in reaching these goals. They show up ready to learn and work hard, we can worry about the rest. Along with this will be teaching them the discipline and mindset it takes to really be great. Sometimes athletes will want a day off, want to skip training, but will that really help them to get to where they want to be? Consistency will not only help with training, but carry over to their performance, and achieving lower golf scores. For Junior level golfers, I love relating training and sports to life. These young kids and adults are preparing high school, college, and in cases the real world. They will come across stressors they need to overcome to be better people. It’s the same thing with training. Overcome a little more stress every time, and become a stronger, faster, more powerful athlete!
Sum it Up
A successful athlete learns how to struggle and overcome. How to mentally prepare themselves to perform under pressure. How to fail, but then keep moving forward. That’s what we want our Juniors to do. Fail so they know how to get back up. Hole 5 may be a double bogie, but how will you come back on Hole 6? Have goals, be passionate about hitting them, take the little steps everyday to get there. Visualize, and tell yourself the right things that put you in a mindset to work your hardest.
Alexandria Cassella, BS, CSCS, USAW, PN1
Strength and Performance Coach, Nutrition Consultant