Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
A nice motto to go by but more than often thought about the physical practice of your sport.
But what about the mind? How often are you preparing your mind for the competition you have coming up.
Here we will look into 5 ways you can prepare you mind for competition to leave you in the best headspace before you start.
Let’s get straight into it.
The idea of visualisation is that you are taking yourself to the environment that you are about to enter before you’ve even been there. So that when you do arrive for your performance, you’ve already ran it through your mind, reducing the amount of over-awe of the situation.
It will allow you to rehearse the performance and give you more confidence leading into it, while coming up with potential challenges that you may face so you’re prepared when they occur.
2. Your training
Your training plays a vital role in the giving you the confidence to perform well. Knowing that you’ve trained well and hard will give you physical and mental check points that will put you in the best possible place. If your training is not at a level that challenges you and makes you feel accomplished at the end of it, chances are that it won’t give you that confidence.
If you’re not in that place yet, keep working at your training, try new things out until you find that sweet spot when you feel that sense of readiness and what works well to continue your development and progress.
There’s a great episode on the Raising Your Game podcast with James Taylor about how your training builds mental toughness.
3. Switch off the night before
Take some time to switch of before bed. Getting a good night sleep is crucial to getting the physical and mental rest and recovery you need to be fresh the next day. Allowing you to make better decisions, physically perform and reduce injury risk.
Trying putting your phone down at least 30 minutes before bed, this will stop your brain from being overstimulated and switch to a more rested state so that you’re ready to get that well needed rest. Your aim is to not waste energy on things that don’t matter to you. What’s more important? Your performance coming up or scrolling through endless amounts of memes and dog videos.
4. Eat well, Drink well
Make sure you are fuelling your body and mind with quality nutrients so that when you need it most, it’s at it’s best.
Staying hydrated keeps the brain and body at it’s optimal state and ready. So not only for the night before but the morning of your competition it’s important to be prepared nutriously. Whether that’s carrying a water bottle around with you, meal prepping or removing unhelpful foods.
Simlar to visualisation, taking a moment to slow everything down. Take stock of what’s going on in your mind and focus on where your mind is at. Whether you’re nervous, excited or a combination of both. It’s valuable to recognise the inner chatter going on so that it doesn’t get in the way when you need to perform. By recognising your thoughts you are able to be present and bring control to your mind. Something that should you practice over and over, you’ll see the benefit of it in those crunch moments in your competition.