Improving Sports Performance

No matter what your game is, improve it the mental way by getting rid of limiting beliefs and reprogramming your subconscious. The power of suggestion on your subconscious should not be overlooked. Most of us have rigid ideas about who we are, what we can or cannot do and what we do or don’t believe about ourselves and our abilities. Adjust your beliefs by reframing them as positive messages that express what you hope to achieve. A short inspirational movie combined with tapping and the other techniques outlined below yields excellent results. Whatever you want to achieve in sports, you have to exercise your mind as diligently as you exercise your body in order to reach your goals. You get fit mentally in exactly the same way that you get physically fit…through repetition (practicing) and exercising your mind.  Start by devoting a few minutes to it daily. The fitter you are mentally, the more spectacular the increase in your confidence and your performance.

Improving Sports Performance sample video |  |  Music: Kevin MacLeod

Start by accepting yourself exactly as you are. That does not mean that there is not room for improvement, just that you are perfectly acceptable as you are right now and then, let go of the past – the most important time in your life is right now.  Let go of anything that generates negative feelings. Tapping will help you accept yourself so that you can then start to work on improving your performance free of any negative or limiting beliefs or psychological reversal that you may be experiencing around your performance. If you would like to use tapping to work on your sports performance, please get in touch with me, and I would be happy to help you clarify and phrase your goals for tapping. The stress hormone cortisol can interfere with the production of testosterone and estrogen. Two minutes of tapping or meditation right before a race, match or practice will decrease the level of cortisol (the stress hormone), increase levels of testosterone and boost performance.

Athletes everywhere use mental practice and visualization to prepare themselves for competition and to improve their game. Olympic coaches and sports psychologists recommend this technique on a regular basis. Your subconscious cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps claims to have learned the power of “mind training” or visualization from his coach when he was 7 years old.  Every night before he goes to sleep, Phelps says he visualizes a mental movie of himself swimming the perfect race so he is 100% prepared for the real thing.

Visualization is a great tool.  See yourself at your healthiest, fittest and strongest doing your athletic endeavor.  It will motivate you to go the extra mile.  Picturing yourself accomplishing your goal creates new neural pathways in your brain in almost the same way as actually accomplishing the feat would. It will give you additional confidence to help you succeed and make you more motivated in your training.  Use all 5 senses in your visualization: see the clock, hear the voices cheering you on, smell the chlorine, feel the sensation of the water on your body, feel your arms slicing through the water and your legs kicking on your last lap as you approach the wall.

With proper visualization techniques you can implant imagined scenarios in your mind to effect permanent change. Once you have repeated the visualization for seven days, you have created new neural pathways of thought and memory. After 21 to 30 days of practicing mentally using visualization techniques, you have successfully created a new “habit.” Virtually anything you choose to change about yourself can be changed. Visualizing, imagining and fine tuning every step of a performance results in a dramatically enhanced outcome. A video can be personalized for you with specific images that relate directly to your sports performance and visualization process in order to attain the most effective and comprehensive results. If you are a “visual” learner, this is the method for you.

A journal or training diary can be a powerful tool. When you feel as if you are not making any progress, you can look back at past achievements. Make a record of what is working well for you in your training as well as what is not.  Keep track of your desires, your goals, your successes and your a-ha moments. Your training journal is your best reference book. Your journal will also help you keep things in perspective.  By looking in your journal and seeing your progress, you can stay positive.

Personal identity statements or mantras will help you stay focused on your goal.  Wake up every day saying:  I am grateful for the opportunity of another day.  I handle every thing that I am meant to do today with grace and ease.  I eat healthy foods and move my body in strong, healthy, flexible ways.  I am the fastest runner, I win all my matches, I am a great rider/swimmer/gymnast, etc. This mantra eventually becomes your answer to any questions or doubts that crop up in your  mind.