Athlete Mental Training Articles

Athlete Mindset Training: Building a Strong Mind in Sports

Eli Straw
Athlete Mindset Training: Building a Strong Mind in Sports

When it comes to training for your sport, how much time do you put into your physical skills? If you're like most athletes, it's the majority of your time. And there's good reason for that need to be highly skilled physically in order to succeed.

But do you know what you also need in order to succeed? A strong mindset!

When you lack a strong mindset, you will always fall short of your potential. No matter how talented you are physically, you will never play as well as you know you can.

That's because the mind plays a huge role in your success as an athlete. Which is why it's important for you to make use of athlete mindset training.

“When you lack a strong mindset, you will always fall short of your potential.”

Why You Need a Strong Mindset as an Athlete

There are two ways of looking at why you need a strong mindset in sports. One involves the way a strong mindset increases your performance, and the other involves the negative impact not having a strong mindset has on your game.

Positive Impact of a Strong Mindset

  • Increased Confidence: when you build a strong mindset, you will develop high levels of confidence. And the more you trust in your skills, the better you will perform.
  • Improved Focus: with athlete mindset training you will learn tools that can be used to improve your focus during practices and games.
  • Greater Resilience: the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures is a key component of athletic success. By building a stronger mindset, you will improve your ability to be resilient.
  • Increased Motivation: athlete mindset training helps you build motivation by understanding what drives you within your sport and keeps your motivation high even when faced with adversity.
  • More Positive Self-Talk: the way you speak to yourself has a direct impact on your performance. With a stronger mindset, you will develop more positive self-talk which will help to increase your level of play.

Negative Impact of Not Having a Strong Mindset

  • Fear of Failure: when you don't have a strong mindset, it's easy to develop fear of failure because mistakes become something that hurts your confidence and motivation.
  • Sports Performance Anxiety: when you worry too much about what's going to happen, this drives anxiety. When you are an athlete with anxiety, this will cause you to play tense and will lower your performance.
  • Perfectionism: this involves the need to be perfect and typically comes from low confidence and too high of expectations. When you need to be perfect, this can lead to fear and cause you to play timidly.
  • Negative Self-Talk: whether you talk down to yourself before a game, after you make a mistake, or during practice, negative self-talk is going to have a negative impact on your ability to perform your best.
  • Social Approval: when you don't have a strong mindset, you tend to look to others for approval. This means you need others to validate you as a player which can lead to fear and anxiety and lowers your confidence.

Developing a Strong Mindset in Sports

The two categories outlined above highlight why athlete mindset training is so important. Not only does it improve your performance, but it also protects against many mental game challenges that lower your performance.

But what does it take to develop a strong mindset as an athlete?

Well, it takes applying sport psychology and mental training tools and techniques. However, no matter what tool you use or what skill you are wanting to develop, there is a key principle that must always be followed...consistency.

To develop a strong mindset, you must put in consistent work. It's the same as with any aspect of your game. Let's say you are a football player and you wanted to improve your catching. What would you do?

You would work on catching each day and work on getting stronger and faster to make you overall a better receiver.

The same is true if you play tennis and you want to improve your serve. You would consistently work on improving your serve.

When it comes to developing physical skills, you know it's not something that will happen overnight. It's very important you take the same approach to athlete mindset training.

To change your thinking and behavior (which is what it takes to build a strong mindset) you have to put in the work.

To help athletes with making sure they are training their mindsets consistently, I like to create routines. Routines allow you to turn mental training into a habit. Something you use consistently because it has simply become part of your everyday training.

If you make athlete mindset training routine for you, that's where you will see it have the biggest impact on your game.

“When it comes to developing physical skills, you know it's not something that will happen overnight. It's very important you take the same approach to athlete mindset training.”

Getting Started with Athlete Mindset Training

Here at Success Starts Within, we offer athlete mindset training for all sports and athletes of all levels. But no matter what sport you play, or how old you are, the principle of routine and consistent effort will be followed.

With athlete mindset training, you will begin by taking an assessment. This allows me, the mental coach, to get a good understanding of what your mindset is currently like and identify your strengths and challenges.

Once you've taken your assessment, I will create a custom mental game plan for you. This will cover the main mental game challenges you're dealing with, along with the key areas we will work on building.

Because mental training needs to be proactive. We must work on building positive mental skills that will strengthen your mindset.

Once your mental game plan is created, we will get to work. Each week we will have a 50-minute coaching call, followed by action steps given to you that will be performed during the week.

The coaching call is where we begin to build a stronger mindset, but it's the days in between where you really put what you've learned into practice and make use of the principle of consistency.

Then, every four weeks we will have a check-in to make sure we are on the right track and see if there are any adjustments that need to be made to your game plan.

To learn more about athlete mindset training and see how you can get started, please fill out the form below.

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of success in all that you do.

Contact Success Starts Within Today

Please contact us to learn more about mental coaching and to see how it can improve your mental game and increase your performance. Complete the form below, call (252)-371-1602 or schedule an introductory coaching call here.

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Eli Straw

Eli is a sport psychology consultant and mental game coach who works 1-1 with athletes to help them improve their mental skills and overcome any mental barriers keeping them from performing their best. He has an M.S. in psychology and his mission is to help athletes and performers reach their goals through the use of sport psychology & mental training.

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The Mentally Tough Kid course will teach your young athlete tools & techniques to increase self-confidence, improve focus, manage mistakes, increase motivation, and build mental toughness.

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In Mental Training Advantage, you will learn tools & techniques to increase self-confidence, improve focus, manage expectations & pressure, increase motivation, and build mental toughness. It's time to take control of your mindset and unlock your full athletic potential!

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