Working on your mental game does not have to be complicated or time consuming. Here are 5 quick tips you can use to improve how you approach your game mentally.
1. Be a master of preparation
The best train to be consistent in a season that is full of highs and lows. In order to be consistent, you must be prepared. Success does not happen just by being prepared for the perfect moments, but the busted ones as well. What’s gong to rock you in a game mentally and how will you handle it? Prepare for the negatives and how you will respond before they happen so that you have a plan for any and every thing that may shake you on game day. Then it’s all about execution.
2. Play freely
It can be challenging to play freely when you have the added weight from the pressure to perform well. When you begin to play for yourself and focus on executing your job, it can be easier to take the risks that are necessary to play well. Don’t be afraid to push yourself, but ultimately you have to play for yourself and in the present moment to play freely.
3. See yourself being successful
If you constantly see yourself making mistakes, you will continue to make them and the same is true for the opposite. In order to rise to the level of success, you must first see yourself being successful. See yourself making plays and aggressively doing the little things that will help you become a better player.
4. Maintain your intensity level
The old saying is practice makes perfect and while this is not fully accurate, how we practice is how we play. If the intensity level falls in practice because you are tired, what will happen to the intensity level toward the end of the game? Each day should be about improvement and maintaining a consistent level of energy. If you practice being consistent, you will play consistently.
5. Be a student of your craft
No one likes being sidelined or riding the bench, but those off the field have a unique advantage that you don’t get when playing in the chaos of the game. You see the game differently and can use your time on the sideline to learn. Focus on what your team is doing well, where you need to improve, and how to make those improvements – then take those lessons to the field to benefit you and your teammates.
For more information on how to improve your mental game and dominate this season, come see us at The MindSide.
Meighan Julbert, MS, is a mental skills consultant for The MindSide, a sports and performance psychology group in Birmingham, Alabama. At the MindSide, Meighan works with athletes, coaches and teams across a variety of sports on developing the athlete’s competitive mindset. To work with her go towww.themindside.com or call 205-492-0234. Follow us on twitter @themindside and @meighanjulbert.