I’ve written numerous articles and post on developing mental strength for peak sport and athletic performance. It never fails, at least several times a month I get an email asking for a summary or checklist.
So, to help you prepare your mental strength toolkit for peak performance I’m going to provide a checklist you can use to customize your own mental strength playbook for peak athletic performance.
To achieve peak athletic performers there area a multitude of process to assist you in overcoming obstacles, prepare for performances, and get into the zone.
Below is an ingredient list so you can create your own personalized mental strength recipe to achieve peak performance in your sport. Take a look at the list, give all the skills at least one go around and repeat the ones that you connect with.
Remember, this is your customized toolkit, the only thing that matters is does your blueprint work.
- Visualization skills: using your mental movies to imagine yourself at peak.
- Positive self-talk skills: keeping yourself motivated and on a positive track.
- Mental game journal: noting your dreams, observations about your performances.
- Audio tapes: using off-the-shelf music/voice or customize your own for inspiration.
- Affirmations: talking nice to yourself, inspiring and empowering yourself.
- Breathing techniques: staying relaxed and in the present, staying calm under fire.
- Goal setting: staying focused, energized and on track.
- Posture awareness: controlling your perceived image and your bodily energy.
- Post-performance review: analyzing how you did and how to do better.
- Anger management skills: handling frustration with goal-setting and centering.
- Video tape your performance: seeing yourself perform is golden.
- Relaxation techniques: staying under control under stressful conditions.
- Pre-performance rituals: having a comforting system for handling details.
- Centering skills: staying grounded, focused, relaxed and tuned in, all at once.
- Mistake management skills: dealing with inevitable errors by cognitive techniques.
- Psych-out/heckler management skills: dealing with rude audience members.
- Coach communication skills: having clear, open dialogue with your coaching team.
- Contingency plans: having back-up strategies, in addition to a main plan.
- Percentage thinking: thinking the way experienced performers see their discipline.
- Pre-performance warm-up: having a system for being ready mentally and physically.
- Momentum skills: using a performance’s ambiance to gain control.
- Practice performances: practicing gives confidence and makes skills automatic.
- Distributed practice: breaking up your practices instead of having one big session.
- Concentration skills: learning how to focus, inward/outward and broad/narrow.
- Having a game plan: making a main and backup strategy for your performance.
- Performance-charting: having someone analyze your performance real-time.
- Interventions: any skill, technique or approach you use to improve performance.
- Awareness in-the-moment: being aware of yourself in the here and now.
- Thought-stopping: saying STOP! to unwanted thoughts when they occur.
- Pacing skills: controlling your energy and bodily movement.
- Time management skills: using your precious time to become more efficient.
- Meditation: relaxing and focusing your mind so you have control anytime.
- Modeling: observing ideal behaviors in others and making them your own.
- Music: using the power of music to soothe, psyche-up and motivate yourself.
- Shaping: making progressively closer attempts to your ideal performance target.
- Process vs. product focus: letting outcome take care of itself by focusing on process.
- Reinforcement: giving yourself praise, rewards and strokes when you succeed.
- Self-hypnosis: using trance to program yourself for anything you desire.
- Role-playing: practicing as an actor how you want to perform in actuality.
- Sense of humor: gaining perspective on a pressure situation by finding mirth in it.
- Creativity tools: using your mind to see new possibilities, new perspectives.
- The third eye: having an objective, observing part of the self to self-coach.
- Daydreaming: using mind wandering as constructive, creative, synergistic time.
- Assertiveness skills: seeking your rights without being aggressive or passive.
- Reframing: seeing a situation in a different way, from another perspective.
- Mentoring: having a mature, successful guide who has been where you want to go.
- Action-orientation: overcoming inertia to initiate and sustain a project.
- Risk-taking skills: taking appropriate chances after careful consideration.
- Perspective skills: keeping all things in strategic and tactical view at all times.
- Balancing skills: maintaining center in one’s life, under all conditions.
If you need more assistance in creating a mental strength playbook for peak performance, pick up a copy of Mental Strength Training for Athletes.
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