Sport Psychologist H. A. Dorfman has a simply theory – behavior shapes thought. Athletes who can shape their behavior can shape their thoughts and discipline their minds. What does a well disciplined mind look like? It is free of doubt, fear, and anxiety.
Dorfman has worked the most with pitchers in baseball. How does a pitcher who trains his mind through his behavior operate? He pitches aggressively, aiming for strikes whether the count is 0-2 or 3-1. He walks confidently, head held high, whether he’s just struck out the side or given up a three-run homer. If the body demonstrates an attitude long enough, the mind will begin to adopt it. By acting fearless and in command, the mind will begin to think that way too.
Six Steps for Power Performance
If you’re looking for some easy, simple steps you can use to improve your mental game, you’ve come to the right spot! Men’s Health Magazine online has generated a list, compiled by sport psychologists and researchers, of six simple tools anyone can use to strengthen their mental game. They are:
Sponge Up The Pain
During workouts, instead of blocking pain and discomfort, be aware of it instead – that way, you’ll have no physical surprises during performance.
Dream The Feeling
Daydream about the way performance feels, whether it’s hitting a baseball or mile 20 of a marathon. Imagining the proper form helps us build neural connections between mind and body.
Do Not “Do Not”
Telling ourselves what “not to do” only conjures a mental image of it, and can produce the very result we fear. Instead, focus on what you want to do through visualization and positive self-talk.
Feel Your Form
During performance, focus on thinking about how it should feel, not a strict list of commands to the body. Focusing on the right feel of a motion helps us have a smooth, even form, while thinking of a specific list of steps and bodily motions can get in the way of a fluid mind-body connection.
Have A Plan
Practice your routine and plan for competition before hand – visualize your performance and get comfortable with the venue. Doing this enhances comfort and can lower pre-competition anxiety.
Squeeze Out Stress
Muscles can tense up during nervousness in competition. Try progressive muscle relaxation before competition to ease nervousness and increase blood flow – contact SPINW for some progressive musle relaxation tips!