DO YOU HAVE THE TOP 3 MENTAL SKILLS NEEDED TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN SPORT?


Do you know what mental skills you need to be successful? Want to know how you can get these mental skills? Read the tips and exercises in this post to build your mental toughness and get an edge over your opponents.

MENTAL SKILL #1: SELF-AWARENESS

This is the first mental skill you must have. The ability to recognize your mental strengths and weaknesses, like you do with your physical skills. Understanding and recognizing how your thoughts and emotions affect your performance. Identifying unhelpful beliefs that prevent you from achieving your maximum potential.

Why is it important for success?

The more you are aware of, the more you are able to make changes. If you can recognize during a performance unhelpful thoughts or emotions, you can then make quick changes and achieve peak performance. You will not hold yourself back with your mind.

MENTAL MUSCLE EXERCISE

Start by recording your thoughts from practice down in a diary. Try to identify which emotions they create and how certain thoughts help or hurt your performance. Next fill in a thought diary after each game, include thoughts, emotions, behaviors and how they affected your performance. Record these for key positive and negative events during your game. It is important to understand what causes you to perform better as well as worse.

MENTAL SKILL #2: CONFIDENCE

Believing in your ability to be successful. Keeping your belief at a stable level and not up and down depending on performance. Using positive thinking and behavior, trusting in your skills and not worrying about what others think.

Why is it important for success?

You will perform your best even in tough situations. You will bounce back quickly from mistakes and you will make less mistakes overall. As an added bonus you will also have more fun!

MENTAL MUSCLE EXERCISE

This can come from remembering past performances where you dealt with tough situations and were able to perform at your best. To start with try this exercise:

Write down 3 past performances where you overcame a difficult situation and were still able to perform to your best. Include how you were able to do this. It is also helpful to have images in your head of what you achieved. It is great to have a list of these situations that you can focus on when you begin to doubt yourself.

MENTAL SKILL #3: CONTROLLING EMOTIONS

Dealing effectively with any emotion. Using difficult emotions such as anxiety, anger, fear and sadness to help performance and not hurt it. Applying techniques to return to your optimum mindset.

Why is it important for success?

You can stay focused on your game plan and in your winning mindset. You will make less mental mistakes and can think clearly to execute your strategy. You will also enjoy playing more often.

MENTAL MUSCLE EXERCISE

It is important to develop a game plan for each of your difficult emotions. One step to include in this is how you want to behave differently. Decide how you want to use each emotion in a positive way and how you want to play. You are in control of your actions, you just need to decide to change and do it! For example when you are angry use it to put in extra effort and focus on correcting the mistake you just made. Add to this new thoughts and techniques to control body reactions and you will be a master at controlling your emotions.

Do you want to improve your mental skills?

Follow the tips and exercises provided to start developing more mental toughness and perform up to your potential during competition.

Did you like this post? If you want to get more tips and exercises, sign up for my free newsletter here. Next week you will receive my new free e-book: The Top 10 Mental Skills needed to be Successful in Sport. Plus you get the strategies top athletes use to become mentally tough and get an edge over their opponents. I will also send you my other free e-book: Top Ten Mental Mistakes Athletes Make In Competition: What Every Athlete, Coach and Parent Need To Avoid To Improve Mental Toughness.

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Zoe Littlewood, M.A. -
Sport Psychology Consultant & Mental Skills Coach

Zoe specializes in working with individuals, teams, parents and coaches to produce performance enhancement, mental toughness and a winning mindset.

© 2020 by Zoe Littlewood.

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