Let’s talk about Mindset.

catdogThe human body is an amazing machine. It’s capable of pushing limits never thought to be possible. Look at sporting history. We see world records getting broken every year across the broad spectrum of the sporting world. Some may argue that the use of drugs is the only reason for the continuation, so to counter this, take it to a personal level and compare your year to year health and fitness goals. Are you improving?

Although our bodies can go to hell and back and still recover, quite often the mind stops us before we even start the venture there.  There are four types of self-talk that athletes tend to use. They are;

  • Positive (‘Come on you can do it! Only 5 to go.’)
  • Negative (‘You’re fat, hurry the f**k up.’)
  • Technical or instructional (‘Weight back in the heels and knees out.’)
  • Neutral (‘What am I going to have for dinner tonight?’)

It’s understood that positive self talk is associated with better performance where as negative is partnered with worse performance. Technical mindset is usually that of a coach or an athlete that is quite fond of movement or an athlete who is post injury. Where as the neutral self talk is usually found within a long workout or within endurance athletes trying to pass the time however possible.

What category do you fall into? What category should we be aiming for? It’s believed that the top athletes use a mix of positive and technical/instructional self talk. The athlete believes in him or herself and has confidence in his or her own ability. When and if they get into a sticky situation they know they will be able to guide their own way out.

All well and good to say but how do you take yourself from a negative self-talker to a positive self-talker? There a many ways and unfortunately it can be a bit of trial and error. Be kind to yourself. Try to find a positive spin or even constructive spin. See below:

Negative Thought/Statement:

– Too much pressure

– Want a quick finish

– This isn’t going to plan

– Getting shouted at

– Panicking

– Feeling tired/weak

Positive Thought/Statement:

– Be Patient, let training take over

– Patience, don’t rush

– Relax, recompose, and attack

– Zone it out

– Patience, I’m better then this

– Trust in the preparation and training to date

Set yourself up for success with realistic goals. Long and short term goals, both mental and physical. Try not to set aesthetic goals. It has been found that when performance based goals are the focus, the desired aesthetic goals are usually achieved along the way.

Being a coach I quite often get asked the question “How do I improve my motor/engine?”  I believe this is down to mindset. If you are positive in your thinking you will always have enough breath and things will never be too hard. Yes you will burn out but when you do you won’t feel sorry for yourself. Remember you want this!

I like to use my next event for motivation. During workouts I remind myself that said event is coming up and this is how I am preparing myself. Do your best now and you will shine at the event.

Be kind and learn to love yourself. This is incredibly hard to achieve. Stop making excuses everyday as to why your workout didn’t go as plan and start rewarding yourself for the things that went well. We all have write off days but if every day is one of these you need to re-evaluate where your head is at and try a new approach.

– Matty, “Stop thinking about it and go be about it!!!”

Matthias Turner

I have a love for health and fitness, music and laughter as well as a deep passion to help people. Follow more great advice from Matty on Instagram.