A lot of athletes focus more on improving their physical performance before game day and neglect the fact that there is a psychological component to winning. What you could be lacking is that ‘Let’s do this,’ or self’-talk to get them started in the right direction.
Confidence is just as important as physical fitness in every sport that people participate in. You don’t want to get to that field or track event and have a panic attack or an emotional meltdown because you suddenly start feeling jittery inside.
In this article, we will discuss and teach you how to prepare yourself psychologically before the D-day. You can win at the game and also win at self-talk.
Let’s Do This – What Is Self-Talk?
You are probably wondering already what the concept of self-talk is all about. It is just as simple as it sounds- ‘self-talk’.
It is a process of talking to yourself but this time, instead of talking out loud as you do when you talk to other people, you are having a conversation with yourself inside your head. You are practicing something Psychologists call ‘Positive reinforcement’ by telling yourself that you can win and succeed in the sport you are participating in.
Just the same way a negative comment from other people sometimes affects your confidence, a negative comment from yourself before or during your game can also make you lose. But if you tell yourself that you can win the game, it strengthens your resolve and goes a long way towards improving your psychological strength and stamina.
A lot of great athletes during interviews have mentioned how they usually encourage themselves by speaking positively and having a winning mentality even if things are not going their way at that point in time.
Let’s Do This – Why Does Positive Self-Talk Matter To Your Game?
When you are participating in your sport, you need to focus on yourself. But when negative thoughts about losing cross your mind, it distracts you from the purpose of the sport. You lose track of time and yourself and begin focusing on things that do not matter.
Your priorities should never shift from winning the game, that is all that matters and that is why positive self-talk is important. It reminds you of what your priorities are.
What Are The Principles Of Positive Self-Talk?
Listed below are the basic principles of positive self-talk. When you have a good grasp of these principles, then you can go ahead to develop a healthy positive self-talk habit.
- Cause and Effect: Your thoughts are like causes and what you see in your life or the game are the effects of these causes.
- Belief: The principle of belief is easy to understand. It states that whatever you believe in long enough will start to manifest in your life.
- Substitution: This principle states that you can only hold one dominant thought in your mind for a long period of time. So if you can only hold one dominant thought during your game, why not make it a positive thought?
Let’s Do This – How To Practice Positive Self-Talk
In this section of the article, we will be discussing how you can develop a habit that eliminates all negative thoughts and focuses only on a winning mentality.
Choose A Mantra
A mantra is a statement that is repeated frequently. You can use one or two mantras such as ‘I am winning this’ ‘I am stronger than this game’. By repeating these mantras over and over, you start to believe them and it improves your mental stamina.
Create A Positive Image
You can imagine yourself lying victorious on your bed in the evening, or you can create an image of you receiving prizes for winning the game. Whatever it is you choose to visualize, make sure that it is strong enough to enhance your performance and never let that positive image disappear from your mind.
Write Down Your Positive Thoughts
You can write down some of your positive thoughts and place them at points in your home where you can easily see them.