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High-Intensity Mental Training Strategies

Updated on September 22, 2019

Athletics is all about resilience and endurance. Training athletes only to a physical extent is an idea which has become obsolete. Mental stimulation and mental training is now the norm with emerging athletes.

What supports this unique idea is the huge psychological turmoil they go through during the course of their life. The victories, the defeats, the badgering, the praises, all make life a roller coaster for them.

Therefore training them mentally with high-intensity mental exercises strengthens them to better their performance and to cope with failure in a resilient manner.


Handle failures intelligently

Letdowns and disappointments are bound to happen when somebody chooses to be an athlete. There will be times when a defeat or an injury takes over and gets the better of you. Building frustration, anger, sadness, and disappointment are perfectly normal emotions.

Feeling all this following a failure is perfectly normal. What you have to do it manage yourself intelligently and patiently during the beginning. Surround yourself with support and then start working towards rectification.


Fashion positive responses

Getting bogged down by disappointing experiences in the past is something which every athlete comes across. Not only does this flourish guilt and anger, but also affect future performance.

To avoid this train your mind to fashion a positive response to a horrible memory. Whenever you think about a time when you could not perform to the fullest, just let the guilt and anger consume you. BUT attach a positive attitude of growth with it. Now whenever the memory haunts you, the positive attitude accompanies it and puts you at ease.


Inspire optimism

As much as it sounds like a cliché, it is quite an effective mental training strategy. Getting yourself to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, rather than the tunnel itself, lets you seed optimism.

You channel your energies optimistically you have to focus on your strengths rather than the short-comings. Focusing on bad qualities just bubbles up frustration and that is never healthy for an athlete.


Bring the cataclysm down

Always imagining the worst-case scenario puts you in bad mental shape. But sometimes, events happen in such a manner that all we are left with is just worst-case scenarios. All we think about is their occurrence and the consequences.

Re-wire your brain to prevent this from happening. Do so by thinking about the worst-case scenario and a plan to work things out if it happens. With that, think about the best-case scenario too. Doing both together grounds your thoughts and behaviours in a positive manner.


Direct anxiety to become excitement

Our bodies are filled with all kinds of energies. Whether they pan out to be positive or negative depends on how we perceive them. The nerves you feel right before a big game or a strenuously challenging race is perfectly normal.

The problem starts when you start perceiving it as anxiety. Perceiving it and calling it excitement makes you harbour this energy in a positive manner and lets you perform with excellence.


Read next - Best Drinks to Have After a Workout. Looking after you diet will also help with your mental training.

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    • Erudite Scholar profile image

      Jeff Zod 

      6 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi AP,

      Thank you so much for this amazing article. Strengthening the mind via a mental workout and visualization is something I have started doing as part of my training routine.

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