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Power of the mind

Here’s how you can nurture your resilience and take your game to new heights

Anwar Wahhab | Published 29.10.23, 06:44 AM
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Pictures: Getty Images

In the realm of sports, achieving greatness goes beyond abilities alone. While having a physique and impeccable skills are important, it’s the power of your mind that can truly make a difference. I can confidently say that cultivating a focused mindset is often the key to reaching peak performance. Let me share some insights into how you can nurture your resilience and take your game to new heights.

Process goals: Harnessing the strength of habits

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The quest for mastery begins by recognising the significance of process goals. These are the habits you develop and consistently work on to enhance your performance. When you prioritise process goals, you do not create a roadmap for success. Also, gain a sense of control over your own journey. By shifting your focus towards what you can influence, you empower yourself to shape the execution of these habits.

For example, if you’re a soccer player, your process goals may involve drills, regular fitness training sessions, or maintaining a specific dietary regimen. By focusing on these elements, you are taking control of your growth. Establishing a strong foundation for mental excellence Remember that consistent steps often lead to progress.

Having clear role models and establishing standards

Another aspect of developing a mindset is having clear role models. By studying and comprehending how a skill or movement should be executed, you not only gain insight but also set a benchmark for your performance. Select role models whose techniques and decision-making align with your values. Use them as references for your growth.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer

For instance, if you are a golfer, carefully analyse the swings and strategies employed by professional golfers. Strive to emulate their movements, mental composure, and strategic approach to the game. By having these figures in mind, you will be better equipped to replicate their achievements on the golf course.

Study your sport; pay attention to details

Knowledge is power in the realm of sports. To enhance your prowess, fully immerse yourself in the intricacies of your chosen sport. Pay attention to the details that often go unnoticed. Gain an understanding of nuances, team dynamics, and opponent strategies.
If you’re a basketball player, it’s important to not only understand the game as a whole but also pay attention to individual player tendencies. Take the time to analyse their shooting techniques, defensive strategies, and court positioning. By gaining an understanding of your sport, you’ll be able to make decisions with confidence and precision, even in high-pressure situations.

Exploring new paths for improvement

Performance goals serve as benchmarks for measuring success in sports. Stats like goals, assists, passes, and distance covered matter. To reach levels of achievement, it’s crucial to seek innovative ways to get closer to your performance goals. This means having a commitment to self-improvement and pushing yourself beyond your limits. For example, if you’re a track and field athlete aiming to reduce your 100m sprint time, explore cutting-edge training techniques, carefully analyse your form, and fine-tune your nutrition. The pursuit of improvement should be ongoing and dynamic, never settling for mediocrity.

Unlocking mental magic: Entering the flow state

One of the desired states for any athlete is achieving “flow”, where everything falls into place and they perform at their best. How can this elusive state be consistently reached? The key lies in “outsmarting” your brain by anticipating what you’re about to do even before the game starts.

To accomplish this, you need to get into the mindset of playing the game before it actually begins. Use your warm-up not only to prepare your body but also to mentally transition into a competitive mode. Imagine that you’re already in the game, envisioning scenarios and practicing the skills you’re likely to use.

If you play tennis, for example, during your warm-up, visualise returning powerful serves, executing precise volleys, and strategizing your moves. Infuse intensity into your preparation so that when the match starts, you’re mentally primed and ready to enter a state of flow.

Developing a mind is a journey that requires dedication, concentration, and a commitment to personal growth. By prioritising goals and benchmarks along the way, having role models for inspiration, deepening your understanding of your sport or activity, seeking continual improvement, and mastering mental readiness techniques, you can elevate your performance to unprecedented levels.

Remember, it’s not just about attributes; it’s about unlocking the potential of your mind. As someone who specialises in optimising mental performance coaching techniques, I encourage you to embrace these principles and embark on a path towards mastering the aspects of your chosen sport or pursuit. Unleash the potential of your mind by embarking on a journey fuelled by your dedication to achieving greatness.

Anwar Wahhab is a Mental Performance Mastery Coach and a Bioprint practitioner. You can reach him at anwarwahhab@awefitness.com

Last updated on 29.10.23, 06:44 AM
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