Raising Elite Competitors

Athlete Tip: What Is Mental Training and Why The Best Athletes Do It

September 28, 2023 Coach Bre Season 2 Episode 161
Raising Elite Competitors
Athlete Tip: What Is Mental Training and Why The Best Athletes Do It
Show Notes Transcript

Ever wondered how some athletes manage to stay cool under pressure, bounce back from mistakes, and perform at the top of their game? Well, you’re in for a treat today as we dive into the world of mental training. So, grab a comfy seat, and let’s embark on this exciting journey together!

Here’s what we’ll cover in this episode:

  • What Mental Training is All About
  • The Power of Quick Recovery in Sports
  • Insights from Olympic Athletes
  • Debunking Common Mental Training Myths
  • Valuable Resources to Get Started

Discover the truth about mental training, learn how to optimize your performance, and debunk myths that might be holding you back. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to unlock your full athletic potential. Tune in to our podcast and start your journey to mental strength and success!

Episode Highlights: 

[01:29] Mental training for athletes, debunking myths. Learn more about mental training in sports, myths vs. facts, and discover its role in improving performance.

[01:57] Myth 1: Mental training is counseling or therapy.

[03:09] Myth 2: Mental training is all about sharing feelings.

[03:48] Mental training is only for athletes who are struggling.

[04:50] Recovering from mistakes in sports. Athletes must recover from setbacks quickly to stay in the zone.

[05:52] Mental training for athletes with insights from Olympic athletes.


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Welcome to the raising elite competitors podcasts. I'm coach Bree, a mental performance coach for girl athletes and athletes. I'm so glad you are here. This is a special episode just for you. So let's get into it. We're talking about. What is mental training and why the best athletes do it. So I'm diving into some myths and facts about training the mental side of the game and why the very best athletes at any level. Train, not just their physical skills, but their mental skills as well. So before I get into that, I want to give a shout out to an athlete in our community. Her name is Zoe and she is a basketball player. And she recently went through our signature mental training program called the elite mental game. And this is what she had to say afterwards. She said, I'm starting to feel way more confident in my games. I am using my snapback routine. So I don't make the same mistakes again. I'm also getting better at not being angry about one mistake that I make. So Zoe. Congratulations. I'm over here celebrating for you because you are showing up as a confident athlete who does not get down and beat yourself up after mistakes anymore. So Zoe learned a snapback routine that is a tool that athletes learn within the first day of our program. So they come in. I learn their quick tool and then they have it for practice that evening if they want it or that match or that game. And Zoe learned this and she is using it to not spiral after mistakes. So she makes a mistake. She does her setback routine. She's back in it and she's playing confidently. So Zoe shout out to you, super proud of you. All right. Let's get into it. What the heck is mental training? And why do the best athletes do it? Maybe you've heard a little bit about mental side of the game. Maybe you have heard about it from other coaches or teammates or parents, and maybe you're curious, but you're not. Really sure about it and that's totally fine. Let's first go into some myths about mental training, because I'm sure you're thinking some of these things. Mental training. Is not counseling or therapy. Now counseling and therapy are important. And if you do see a counselor or a therapist, there is absolutely a place for that. Mental training is not counseling or therapy. Mental training is rooted in sports psychology. So sports psychology is all about how you can use your brain and your mind to get you results that you want. So you are already putting in a lot of work on your sport. You are going to practices. You're going to training. You're doing a lot of this stuff. And you maybe are seeing that you are doing really well in practice. Maybe you're not playing as well in a game, or maybe once you make a mistake, like Zoe said before, she came to the program, you spiral a little bit, and it kind of takes you a little bit to get back. Or maybe you're feeling a lot of pressure and expectations because you're a high level player and you have big goals. And with that comes expectations and navigating that. And the comparison that comes with the intimate, the perfectionism, all normal things, all normal parts of being an athlete, but not all athletes know. How do you navigate that? So mental training is. Giving you tools to be able to navigate those things. So it's not counseling. It is rooted in science to help you perform your best. Now mental training is not. So myth, number two is all just about talking about your feelings and that maybe goes along with like the counseling part. Some people think some athletes are like, well, I'm just gonna have like, Talk about my feelings. No, you don't. Obviously there's emotions that come with athletics, angry, sad, happy, joyful. Like it's everything. So you're going to experience emotions and feelings as part of being an athlete. But you would do that either way, whether you're engaging in mental training or not. But it's not just sitting down and talking about your feelings. You will have strategies to handle the emotions of athletics. Kind of like what Zoe said again, the feeling of being angry after you make a mistake, you'll be able to actually use that to your advantage instead of let it control you and shut you down. Myth. Number three. Mental training is not just for athletes who are struggling. So sometimes people think, well, there's something wrong with me. If I'm doing mental training. Absolutely not. In fact, you are doing something that most athletes don't likely at your age, meaning that you are separating yourself and you are giving yourself a competitive advantage. So obviously mental training is useful and it will work if you are struggling with the common things like overcoming mistakes, dealing with pressure. Dealing with challenging teammates or coaches, all those things. Like if you're struggling with those things right now, mental training absolutely will help you. But if you're not mental training is there to give you a competitive advantage. And here's what mental training is. It is using the power of your mind to get your hard work, to pay off. And it also is giving you the skills to navigate. Being an athlete and the athlete that can get over mistakes, handle expectations, perform under pressure, all of those things. That is the one who has the competitive advantage and has the most fun. So if you think about it, say it takes you like a minute or two minutes to get over a mistake, which is really common, right? You make a mistake or maybe just something happens a competition that throws you off. Like you didn't expect something to happen to her coach to something kind of odd or a teammate or whatever. And you're kind of thrown out of the zone and maybe. You're starting this spiral of negative thinking again, very common. And it takes you a few minutes to get over that. Well, if you play a sport like basketball, like volleyball, Like swimming any of these sports that require you to actually be back in the moment quickly, like in volleyball, the next service coming in 15 seconds and basketball, you're running across the court to get back on defense and gymnastics, you literally have no time. You know, so you need to be able to bounce back quicker than your sport requires. So I want you to consider how long does it take me when I'm thrown out of the zone or something happens that kind of like shakes me a little bit. How long does it take me to recover? And if it takes you longer than your sport requires, so more than like less than a minute, then you are getting passed out by athletes who are recovered and are playing in the zone. And so those are the types of skills that you learn in mental training to be able to come back and be the athlete that you want to be. And the best athletes don't just train their bodies. So we've had a lot of Olympic and collegiate athletes come in and speak to athletes that are inside our programs. And one of them recently came in, her name is Kim hill and she is a two-time Olympic volleyball player. And she came in and was like, I am amazed that you are learning these skills right now, talking to our athletes, our middle school and high school athletes. She said, I had learned this stuff until I was in college and a professional. And it is so important that you're learning it now. I wish that I had these skills when I was younger. Mia Hamm who's a bit former professional soccer player says the most important attribute a player must have is mental toughness. Now you can Google, you can YouTube. You can find all sorts of athletes at these high levels. Talking about the importance of the mental game, how mentally tough you are and how important that is, how you come back from mistakes, how focused you are. All of those things are mental training and all of these athletes and athletes that have come into our program to speak you know, they're playing at the college or the professional level, say I would not be where I am. I would not have the success that I had. I wouldn't enjoy my sport as much if I didn't also train the mental side of the game. So absolutely mental training is not for athletes who are just struggling. There is not anything wrong with you. In fact, you are figuring out something that is going to give you a competitive advantage and help you have more fun in your sport. So highly recommended it basically every year. If we were to just, and this episode right here, highly recommend 10 out of 10 mental training. For you as an athlete now to get started doing some of this mental training and start working on your mindset. There's a couple of things that I want to. Send in your direction. So, first of all, on this podcast, I have episodes that are specifically for athletes. They're called athlete tip podcasts. There's similar to the one that you're listening to right now. So you can listen to these athlete, tip podcasts for tips from me on how to incorporate mental training into your daily life, your weekly life, and into your sport. Also, we have our signature mental training program called the elite mental game. That thousands of athletes have come through. So we've had. Over 2000 athletes, join this program to build their mental training skills. And these are athletes that are anywhere from the age of about 11 to 18 years old. And so these skills are applicable across a wide skill range. However, we do split by age in certain parts of the program so that you are getting more specialized training based on what you likely are facing in your sport. So this program called the elite mental game literally is a game. You join, you go through it at whatever. Pace you want to go, you can go through it quickly. You earn points as you go through you, unlock prizes as you go through as well and all, while you're doing that and having fun and interacting with each very short trainings, they're anywhere from five to 15 minutes long. You are building your foundation of mental skills, getting stronger, more confident in your sport. So that is open right now for enrollment. We would love to have you join us and the thousands of athletes who have come through before you. Who have shown that it is possible to train the mental side of the game in order to become a better athlete. All right, athletes. I hope that this was helpful to give you some insight about what mental training is and why the best athletes do it. So if you are too. Start anything. It is to start incorporating a little bit of mental training every single week so that you can become a more mentally strong and confident athlete. All right. I'm coach Bree, Mental performance coach for girl athletes. And I'll see you in the next athlete tip podcast episode.