#161: Athlete Tip: What Is Mental Training and Why The Best Athletes Do It

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Some athletes seem to have it all – they’re cool under pressure, bounce back from mistakes with ease, and play their sport really well.

The question is: How do they do it? Well, you’re in for a treat today as I dive into the world of mental training – and why the best athletes swear by it!

So, what exactly is mental training? Why do top athletes swear by it? If you’ve heard about it but you’re not quite sure what it’s about, don’t worry; I’m here to break it down for you.

What is Mental Training?

So, what is mental training, really? Simply put, it’s about harnessing the power of your mind to amplify the results of your hard work. It’s about becoming the athlete who can perform under pressure, manage expectations, overcome mistakes, and ultimately have more fun in your sport.

Imagine this: You make a mistake during a game, and it usually takes you a few minutes to bounce back. In sports like volleyball, basketball, or swimming, where quick recovery is important, every second counts. With mental training, you can bounce back faster than your sport demands, giving you an edge over competitors who struggle to regain their composure.

But, don’t just take my word for it! Olympic athletes like Kim Hill and soccer legend Mia Hamm emphasize the importance of mental toughness in their careers. They’ve all credited their mental training for their success and enjoyment of their respective sports.

Mental Training: Myths vs. Facts

Below, I dispel some common myths about mental training.

Myth 1: Mental training is counseling or therapy.

First things first: Yes, counseling and therapy are important. And if you do see a counselor or a therapist, there’s absolutely a place for that. But, you should know that mental training is NOT counseling or therapy.

Mental training isn’t about delving into your past experiences or deepest emotions. Instead, it’s rooted in sports psychology, helping you use your mind to achieve better results in your sport. While counseling and therapy have their place, mental training equips you with practical tools to enhance your performance.

Myth 2: Mental training is all about sharing feelings.

Some athletes wonder, “Am I gonna have to talk about my feelings?” The answer is: No, you don’t. Anger, sadness, happiness, joy – you’re going to experience a broad range of emotions and feelings as an athlete. But, you won’t spend hours talking about your feelings during your mental training sessions; instead, mental training provides strategies to manage these emotions effectively.

Myth 3: Mental training is only for athletes who are struggling.

Mental training is NOT just for athletes who are struggling. Often, athletes think, “There’s something wrong with me if I’m doing mental training,” – this mentality is wrong. Mental training isn’t a sign of weakness; instead, it can provide you with a competitive advantage. Even if you’re excelling in your sport, mental training can take your performance to the next level. How? It equips you with the skills necessary to handle pressure, bounce back from mistakes, and excel under any circumstance.

Mental Training Resources

So, where can you start with mental training? Here are some resources to guide you on your journey:

  • Raising Elite Competitors Podcast: Athlete Tips. Tune in for episodes where I share tips on how to incorporate mental training into your daily and weekly routines, as well as your sport.
  • The Elite Mental Game: Join thousands of athletes aged 11 to 18 who have benefited from our signature program. You’ll go on a self-paced adventure, earning points and unlocking prizes as you build your mental skills, gaining strength and confidence in your sport along the way. Learn more here.

Final Thoughts

I can’t stress it enough: mental training is a game-changer for athletes at every level. Whether your goal is to help your athlete overcome challenges, boost their performance, or unlock their full potential, mental training is the key. Don’t let your athlete miss out on this incredible opportunity to gain the mental edge that they need to succeed in their sport. Invest in their mental game today, and watch them rise to new heights of achievement and confidence!

Episode Highlights: 

[01:29] Mental training for athletes, debunking myths. Learn more about mental training in sports, myths vs. facts, and discover its role in improving performance.

[01:57] Myth 1: Mental training is counseling or therapy.

[03:09] Myth 2: Mental training is all about sharing feelings.

[03:48] Mental training is only for athletes who are struggling.

[04:50] Recovering from mistakes in sports. Athletes must recover from setbacks quickly to stay in the zone.

[05:52] Mental training for athletes with insights from Olympic athletes.

Next Steps:

  • Join our FREE Training for Sports Moms – How to Strengthen Your Athlete Daughter’s Mental Game so She Believes in Herself as Much as You Do
  • The Elite Mental Game is open for enrollment! Check it out and join here during our special enrollment period!

Thank you in advance for joining us on our mission and leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

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