When it comes to getting the edge, whether it’s football, rugby, swimming, running, boxing or for that matter tiddlywinks it’s so important to have the right mindset and so training your brain in the right way is crucial when it comes to getting the edge over your opponent even if that opponent isn’t a person but a pool of water or running track.
We have put together some advanced sporting psychology tips to help you when it comes to making sure you get the winning results. After all we are half about what we fuel our bodies with and half about the right mental mindset. Psychology is crucial today when it comes to getting that edge so here’s our Smart proteins tips to help you gain that advantage.
1: If you are tiring and starting to feel drained, GREAT! You’re probably thinking, what the hell are you talking about, right? But you should try to train your brain to use this to your advantage by using a mantra stating that if you are tiring your opponent will be too and if they are, now is your time to push harder. This is particularly effective when in direct competition with others such as swimming or running and works well for many professional athletes. The most successful athletes generally have the greatest mental strength. Mindset is all important in this.
2: When you win by achieving your goals (no matter how small) always celebrate and self congratulate. This sounds a bit egotistical perhaps but by doing so you are re-enforcing those positive feelings from success. Do something that makes you feel good, something that aids that feeling, even if that just means screaming at the top of your lungs “YEEEESSSSS!” Releasing that “tension” at the exact right moment really can give you that pump you need to fire up those engines. This can even be amplified by focussing your attention on a clenched fist. It may sound a bit odd but it really helps focus that energy and gives you that psychological pat on the back.
3: Big changes come in small increments so don’t expect to make those massive changes over night. Instead try to break your goals down into smaller steps that lead towards those big improvements and rewards that you are looking for. Don’t punish yourself for not achieving those goals immediately. Keep your big goals broken up into stepping stones that take you towards that ultimate goal. Focussing solely on that final goal is usually a daunting prospect and is psychologically unhelpful but by breaking things down into manageable chunks you can see that pathway to your ultimate goals much more easily.
4: Visualise. Try to see your goals prior to your competition regardless of what they are. If you are a sprinter try to visualise yourself winning the race, if you’re a boxer see that knockout blow before the fight or even if you’re training, see yourself winning that competition, race or fight. It may sound obvious but by creating a positive mental image prior to your activity you can give yourself that boost that you need to succeed. In order to do this it’s often helpful to take a minute prior to the occasion in hand, close your eyes, take some deep breaths and try to visualise the success you are looking for. Combining these elements really can help you see that winning line and really can give you that edge that you need.
5: So, what happens when the unthinkable happens and you actually lose?! Remember the old adage, the one who never made a mistake never made anything! As silly as it sounds even failure can be a great thing, it helps us find where we have gone wrong. So naturally, a champ will always be devastated by a defeat BUT conversely will never let that defeat discourage them. When that inevitable defeat does come (and it does for almost everyone) it’s more about licking your wounds and getting up again than dwelling on the loss. Use it to your advantage and learn from it!
6: Minimise the day. When taking part in that massive competition or that ultimate race don’t think of it as “the BIG day”, this can cast a shadow over your emotions, instead think of it as another day to gain that ever more useful experience. Game face, nah, try not to see things that way. Just keep it simple, keep your “regular” face on and have a great game or whatever sport you are taking part in by not allowing the event to daunt you. keep things in perspective and your chances of winning just increased! Always try to enjoy the occasion.
7: Chewing. Yes, that’s right. Chewing gum can actually reduce your stress hormone, cortisol and will aid the calming effect. A calm head equals a calm game and calm wins the day. What’s more, chewing gum has been scientifically proven to help improve your performance in memory oriented tasks by actually increasing blood flow to the brain.
8: This may sound obvious but training your mind must work in tandem with your body in order to achieve the results you are looking for. Use the correct supplements to give you the ultimate advantage. Find the right supplements for your needs in order to give you the improvements you are looking for. Check our supplement comparison, SmartProteins, and customise it for your exact sports requirements, leave nothing to chance. The site covers all aspects of protein usage and is very easy to use. It can be customised to search for the specific needs that you are looking for such as products for weight loss, building muscle and mass, energy and endurance, lean muscle and sports performance. Additionally, if you are a pro athlete these results can even be tailored to include only Informed Sports products. These results can then be ordered by brand, weight, protein source, price and other things.
9: Always end on a high. Never, never, NEVER finish that training session with a failure. Always try to make sure that the day ends on a high. Even if this means finishing your session a few minutes early, if you ensure you finish on a high note it will stand you in good stead for your next game, race or training session. One of the most high profile figures to use this principle is, arguably the greatest rugby kicker of our time and Rugby World Cup winner, Jonny Wilkinson. Wilkinson would NEVER end a session on a low note always refusing to stop training until that most perfect kick went sailing between those white posts regardless of whether it was raining, snowing or midnight.
10: Be disciplined. These days everyone is after that shortcut, that “hack”. How many times have you read an article that has a headline like, 10 hacks that make you thinner, richer, faster, cooler or a million and one other topics but the truth is, to succeed, generally, there are no short cuts only hard graft and determination and so grasp the nettle, look yourself in the mirror and say, the work starts here, the buck stops with ME. Never look to others for your failing instead always try to be responsible for your successes and failures. If you are always looking to blame others for your failings 99% of the time this mindset is an excuse for your own failings. If you can take full ownership for your own actions you are already half way to success and often this will be what differentiates you from the competition.
We know that a lot of these tips seem like fairly obvious techniques but it’s amazing how often many of these elements are overlooked. So, if you’re looking for that extra boost just follow these tips along the way and hopefully you will be taking on, and succeeding, in those challenges that you never thought were possible! We are incredibly capable creatures, it’s often just a case of making sure we harness those capabilities in just the right way. Hopefully this article has given some tips to get your head in the right space to make sure you win the day.