I’ve published several posts on mental strength and athletic performance. The primary objective of these posts is to provide you with tips and strategies to best develop your mental skills to enhance your athletic performance and help you achieve your athletic goals.
If training is your sport, then these posts can assist you in reaching peak personal performance as well as help you reach your personal goals.
A critical factor I haven’t discussed yet is arousal or energy management. Because of other thoughts that come to mind with the word ‘arousal’ I will use the word energy….just want to keep your attention on athletic performance and not a different kind of performance
When you hear the term energy management, what comes to mind? If you’re like most athletes, you equate this skill strictly with controlling nerves and calming yourself during times of high stress like before and during a game.
Energy management is much more; it is a multifaceted mental strength skill that involves the ability to relax when too nervous and the ability to activate or ‘get pumped’ when flat or lethargic.
Everyone and especially athletes need to be able to get pumped or relax both their minds and their bodies to effectively manage energy. Let’s take a look at how you can begin to better understand and improve the management of your energy to effectively and positively influence peak performance.
Ask yourself the following:
- Are there days at the gym when you feel like you can’t complete one rep much less two sets?
- Has stress from a long day ever caused you to bail on the workout or unenthusiastically go through the motions?
- Have you ever been waiting at the gym, or a 5K race and found yourself yawning and not really caring about how will you do?
- Or, prior to a race, has pre-race anxiety caused tight muscles, worry, and increased heart rate?
If you’re like most goal oriented athletes you probably answered ‘yes’ to at least one of the above questions, right?
These questions are all associated with mental and physical energy. They described symptoms of too much physical energy, i.e. increased heart rate, rapid breathing, and too much mental energy, i.e. worry, negativity, pre-race thoughts. As well as too little physical energy, i.e. tired, lethargic, and too little mental energy, i.e. mentally flat, unmotivated.
Following is a simple strategies you can implement to help you better control your arousal or energy level.
What Affects Your Energy?
To manage your physical and mental energy, you must become aware of the things that affect your energy levels, both increase and decrease, and to take determined steps to manage these internal and external factors, so that you will reach your peak performance…when you decide to.
So, get a pad and pencil or open up Word make two columns. One labeled ‘deplete energy’ and the other ‘enhance energy’ and begin to think about specific situations in the past.
Identify things that deplete your energy, some maybe – lack of sleep, poor diet, stress, negativity, and lack of purpose – all of these can be factors that can sap your energy.
Now identify those things that refuel your energy and get you jazzed, things like – maintaining a positive mood, remembering a great race or a great workout, specific music, a balanced diet, training goals, and being with friends.
You need to take purposeful steps to control all of factors. Concentrate on removing any depleting factors and focus on the factors that refuel your energy level; work on your mental strength to better manage these internal and external influences. This in turn will have a great affect on your managing your energy levels.
Mental Strength Skills
You need to arm yourself with the mental strength skills and strategies that can be used to positively affect your energy levels both physically and mentally…on command. The following are a few examples of strategies found to be beneficial in managing energy levels. Practice these to determine which ones will be most effective for you and add more of your own.
- Energy System
- Too much (need to relax)
- Slow stretch
- Deep, belly breathing
- Gentle massage
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Too little (need to get excited)
- Active Stretching
- Quick, deep breathing
- Jumping jacks
- Eat/drink water
- Too much (need to relax)
As with all the mental strength skills recognize that energy management is a skill that, with practice and patience, can be learned, developed and mastered. Make a choice to work on these energy management skills and strategies so that you can begin to take control of your physical and mental energy and reach your peak performance.
I’m putting the finishing touches on my new program “Mental Strength In Athletic Performance.” It will be 2 e-books and 9 audio tracks complete with hypnosis sessions, affirmation, tracks to get you jazzed before a workout or event and track to calm you down for rest and recovery. I’ll announce it first in my newsletter with a discount code, so make sure you’re receiving it.
In the mean time a great book to help with you energy and thought management is “Develop the Mental Strength of a Warrior.”
Please let me know your thoughts on this post in the comments below.
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