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5 mental strategies that increase your performance in sports (and fitness) enormously

5 mental strategies that increase your performance in sports (and fitness) enormously

This article has been automatically translated from German. While our little team is working hard to provide you the best quality and resources, our multilingual capacity is still limited. Don't judge us by the Google translation please and head over to the original version in German instead.   

Athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performance. While there is no miracle cure, there are a few mental strategies that give the competitive edge. That is exactly what makes a successful athlete: mental strength. Athletes want to keep going, get higher, get faster, be at the top of the game, push their own limits and win.

Me too.

Of course, that's not always a good thing, as it can quickly lead to very high, self-imposed pressure. Basically, the goal is not to be satisfied with the average and to look for personal development. Always. As an athlete you really begin to understand the following, all too often tapped saying:

The route is the goal. The limits need to be expanded.

For me, one of these limits is and remains mental strength. Since I have been with AURUM, I have inevitably absorbed a lot of computer and software lingo from the nerds in Löwenstrasse. In this article, I would like to describe, so to speak, how you can work on your software. Because without good software, the best hardware is of no use;).

Diego De Nicola , the endurance athlete and mental coach spoke to me recently about mental strength and the juggling of sporting performance, family life and business - you can see the conversation on YouTube .

For several years I have been working with endurance athletes who cross the finish line faster and with fitness customers who want to reach the defined body lines faster. The five strategies that both top athletes and mental coaches have drawn my attention to and that I hope can help you apply to both:

Why jump over hurdles and take detours when your goal comes to you through correct, strategic development and not in the far distance?

1. Set goals

Goals and objectives is the most frequently written topic. Maybe it is written again and again. Athletes have to set goals. No matter how big the goal may be. To be successful, you must not stray from your path and must be able to fully focus on your goals. This is not something groundbreaking yet. But my understanding of a goal continues. There is a temporal and often substantial framework, helps to define the necessary steps and makes success and failure measurable. Therefore, great care and caution is required when choosing your goals.

Be careful what you wish for.

What does a well-chosen goal do for you?

Imagine you get on a jet and the pilot takes off. Now you are in the air: but where to? The goal has to be defined before starting or not? Is it very clear? There are a lot of not insignificant details in this decision. What type of aircraft, how much kerosene, registrations, countries that are not allowed to be scanned etc. In this example it is crystal clear to us, often not in our sporting and fitness goals. You just do it.

To bridge the gap between my aviation analogy: With good destination selection and planning, you avoid a situation in which the fuel runs out and you have to make an emergency landing at the next airport (eg injury, overtraining, incorrect loading). Or just one in which you fly too fast and high at the beginning, use too much fuel and therefore do not cover the whole route. Often happens in fitness training in January ;). Remedial measures create good goals, clear measurability, small intermediate goals and coaching.

Conclusion: If you want to be successful, invest in good air traffic controllers .

2. Start with the change

Too often I've met people who actually know what to do. Example fat burning and diet . They are waving from afar. “I already know, I already know, you don't have to explain that to me” . The emphasis is actually on, actually they know exactly how to do it. So why don't they start? Even a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step - again such a truism from the Far East but unfortunately true!

If you recognize yourself in the last few lines, the following questions will help you make the inner bastard leg up:

  • What is preventing me from implementing my plan, my project?
    Is it fear, ignorance, am I afraid of success or failure? What is behind the reluctance?
  • What has to change so that I can finally start and implement it?
    Do I need a push, more knowledge, outside support?
  • What am I missing so that I can finally implement my plan, my plan?
    Confidence, more training, better equipment, more relaxation?
  • Then how do I know that I have achieved it?
    This has to do with goal setting and tracking progress. Without a clearly defined goal, you don't know if you achieved it and when.

3. Learn to activate yourself

Activation is an important point in mental training. Especially when it comes to being able to access the full potential at a certain time, as Julian wrote about it in “Wake up the champion in you” . It is not easy. You have to train that too.

First ask yourself how you feel when you want to access your full potential in competitions, games or during AURUM training, or when you have reached your desired fitness and health status: Are you calm or energetic? Are you relaxed or focused? Are you satisfied, whole and fulfilled?

Visualization can be a very effective tool: close your eyes, bring your goal in front of you and feel it. How does it feel to have achieved the goal you set? What has changed?

4. Use the power of a positive attitude

These are positive affirmations and working with them. An affirmation is a short sentence that helps you to do something, to refrain from doing it or to help you remember something.

For example: "In the competition I am focused and focused and know my strengths" or "I have fun, enjoy training because I can lay the foundation" or "I think positively and enjoy my time in sports". Important: Always repeat affirmations 50 times in the evening, feeling it and always formulating it actively. NOT and other negative forms must be avoided. “I am not a looser” will transport the brain into the subconscious as: “I am a looser” - ugly :)

You should think of such affirmations for yourself and write them down. Again: They should be kept short, in which I am written and in the present form. This is one of the most effective exercises in mental training. I use my affirmations in every preparation for and during the competition.

5. Make a stop

Do you get to a point where a tower is as high as Babylon? Say stop. Treat yourself to rest and return to the starting position. Be it a bed, floor or deck chair on the balcony. Breath therapy helps as an assistant and brings you to calm realms. So you take the time to find out what the tower means and how to climb it with ease.

These very simple and effective strategies helped me to appear regularly in the intensive training sessions and 1st place in the Zurich-Zermatt bike marathon, 3rd place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 1st place in the UCI Marathon Forli and 1st place in the TT Competencia time trial Document Catalunia.

Maybe during the next 6 minutes of AURUM strength training you can use one or the other technique presented and tell me about the difference it has brought you?

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