Mentally preparing yourself for a major fitness event is similar to a nutritional and physical preparation. However, it does little when you do it the night before a big event.
Successful athletes will tell you that having a mental training plan is crucial. If you’re preparing for a major fitness event, you must know how to incorporate mental preparation or planning into your overall training, months or years prior to the event. Doing this maximizes your potential in the competition.
6 Tips To Prepare Yourself Mentally For A Major Fitness Competition
If you have a major fitness competition on the way, it’s best to focus on mental training and incorporate it in your day-to-day training or activities. Check out these six key tips to prepare yourself mentally for a big fitness event.
1. Know your long-term and annual goals
It’s recommended to revisit or know your goals to ensure that you’re aiming for those. This also helps gain your confidence when you realize your accomplishments.
- Weeks prior to competition: Around three weeks before the competition, spend some time reviewing your purpose and goals for training and competing. Ask yourself, “What is the deeper reason why I chose to pursue this sport?”
- Know your why: Is your motivation extrinsically or intrinsically driven? Take a break from training and reevaluate your “why.” Generally, having a powerful sense of purpose fosters a higher degree of determination.
- Add/incorporate a new skill: This may be the last opportunity to learn or add a new skill to your game plan. Your achievement goal should be clear whatever the importance of the event or milestone is.
2. Establish specific goals
After revisiting your goals, it’s time to set your workout and specific goals. Just imagine your long term goal is earning a place in the top 10 and qualifying for the regionals. Meanwhile, your short-term goal for the forthcoming event is to win. Setting specific goals help you to measure your progress by the end of each training session. Moreover, it accomplishes the following:
- Feeling of readiness and earning confidence as you proceed to the event.
- Higher chances or probability of accomplishing your goals by focusing on your areas for improvement.
- Reduces stress as you focus on the exercise and not the outcome, which you don’t have control of.
3. Visualize your success
Athletes have used mental practice and visualization for decades. It helps them prepare for the upcoming competition and is one of their mental preparation tools.
- Synergistic effect: Further, mentally rehearsing the events are nearly as powerful as physical training. It creates a synergistic effect when physical and mental training are combined.
- Visualize overcoming challenges: Moreover, visualization doesn’t always involve a perfect performance. Visualizing yourself conquering some challenges or setbacks may transpire during the competition, thus helping you build confidence in your abilities.
4. Believe in yourself
The phrase, “believe in yourself” sounds cliche but it actually helps assess yourself and boost your confidence. One way to believe in oneself is eliminating self-defeating thoughts or attitudes.
- What you said about yourself: Make a list of the internal dialogue that transpired in a day. Are you expressing self-defeating or negative thoughts upon yourself? Self-talk can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
- Avoid being critical: You must avoid being overly critical and underestimating your capabilities. If you begin saying negative thoughts about yourself, consciously replace those thoughts with positive self-evaluation.
5. Revisit your past accomplishments and recall the lessons learned
When you’re thinking negatively about yourself, you begin to focus on the mistakes you have done in the previous competition.
- Recall past achievements: Avoid contemplating on the attributes you can no longer change or have no control of. Instead, recall your past achievements to boost your confidence in your potential to perform better.
- Focus on areas for improvement: You must also acknowledge that within your failures, there lies invaluable feedback and areas for improvement. Moreover, remember that becoming a successful athlete entails a lifelong process of learning, self-development, and growth.
- Mindfulness meditation: This is similar to being “in the zone.” Immerse yourself in the task at hand and practice or compete with sharp focus. This can help you have an increased sense of presence and awareness in all moments.
Those are just a few tips you can do to mentally prepare yourself for the incoming major fitness event. Remember that your mind also requires a systematic practice and training to ensure you perform at your best. You may also seek professional mental trainers. Psychologists like Endeavour wellness can help you focus on your goals and provide you life changing support, advice, and guidance that can really change your health and wellness for the better. Good luck with your fitness event.
Joel Curtis is a registered Psychologists with Endeavour Wellness and has over 17 years of experience. Joel holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology from Western Sydney University. Joel owns a number of private practices in Sydney and provides expert content for several national TV and Radio programmes.