Beating the Heat – The Mental Approach

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While most of the country has been in summer weather mode for a month or more, the Pacific Northwest summer typically starts in July. This year, we’ve had especially little time to transition, going from temperatures in the 50’s to the 80’s in what seems like the blink of an eye. Of course, you know the need to hydrate and eat right (if not, here’s a good article), to wear sunscreen and the proper gear, all the physical elements of battling the heat, but what about the mental aspects?

As a coach, every time a player said “It’s sooo hot!” all I heard was”Hey coach, I have an excuse to not play hard!” The mentally strong athlete treats the heat like another opponent: Not something to be feared and run away from, but something to look straight in the face and conquer. Here are a couple sport psych standbys, tailored to the heat:

-Focus! – You could focus on the heat, but why? You don’t have any control over it. Focus on what you do have control over: preparation, attitude, and effort

-Positive self-talk:“ During uncomfortable moments, it’s natural to think negatively about a situation. But mentally strong athletes think positive thoughts and find the positives in any situation. “ugh, it’s hot, this stinks!” becomes: “this heat is only making me stronger“ keep it up!”

– Visualization: “ Remember that if you are hot, your teammates and most likely your opponents are too. See yourself leading your teammates, and outlasting the competition

Athletes, want to work more on your mental game to boost your confidence this summer?
Coaches, looking for ways to add to your team’s experience and get that extra edge? Contact SPINw to talk to one of our consultants about individual or team programs for a strong mental game.

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