power of the mind
Personal/Fitness Training Blog

The Power of the Mind in Sports Performance: Benefits of Positive Self-Talk

The mind is extremely powerful. Not only do we have the power to dictate our thoughts and behaviours; but we can control what we think, how we think and when we think, so that we can achieve the desired outcome of our performance. However, our thoughts can also be extremely destructive. If you believe that you are incapable of performing a certain activity, your body will slow down, making you less powerful and less efficient. The good news is that there are ways to dominate our thoughts, so that our minds believe that we can succeed. The power of the mind in sports performance cannot be underestimated and engaging in positive self-talk will help you reach your goals. Here are three benefits of positive self-talk.

  • It controls stress

One of the benefits of positive self-talk is that it helps to control and manage stress. By constantly reassuring yourself that you can cope with a situation, you will start to feel calmer and less overwhelmed. Competitions can be stressful with athletes placing themselves under immense pressure to succeed. By simply reminding yourself that you “can do this”, you clear some of the angst that clouds your thoughts. Self-talk isn’t about lying to yourself; it’s about reframing your thoughts from “I can’t cope with this” to “I will get through this”.

Unfortunately, negative emotions have more of an impact on us than positive emotions. Negative emotions are more intense and they cause a kind of tunnel vision that prevents us from seeing or feeling anything other than our present discomfort. However, positive emotions brought on by positive self-talk can enhance our field of vision. We can take in more of our surroundings, and we are better able to connect the dots that allow us to see the bigger picture. Positivity creates an open mind so that we are better able to make connections, notice patterns and problem-solve; thereby reducing mental stress.

  • It builds confidence

A fairly obvious side-effect of positive self-talk is its ability to boost an athlete’s confidence. Self-talk solidifies your belief in yourself which can make all the difference during a tough training session or competition. When you doubt your own ability, you limit yourself in what you can achieve. Imagine your coach or a friend telling you that you have what it takes to succeed. You will most likely feel positive afterwards and more confident in what you are about to do, right? So why not do the same for yourself? We underestimate the power of words and whether it’s spoken to us or we tell ourselves, simple words of encouragement can have a major impact.

  • It boosts performance

You’ve probably heard the age-old adage that sport is 80% mental and 20% physical. The percentages differ depending on who you ask but the idea is the same. Your mind can either carry you through a physical activity or it can be what makes you give up. Don’t underestimate the power of the mind! If you convince yourself that you can’t make it up that last hill, you have cemented your fate and your thoughts will lead to an undesirable outcome. On the flip side, if you believe that you will finish the race, you prepare yourself for a positive outcome and your body will find the last bit of energy it needs to pull through.

Thoughts can be powerful catalysts for success or for failure. For this reason, sports psychologists encourage the awareness of thoughts and emotions and how they impact performance. Athletes must train their minds as they would their bodies, to turn negative thoughts into positives ones and become mentally resilient.

Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy today

Do you have an interest in mental skills training? Could you see yourself working with a professional sports team to overcome mental obstacles and improve their performance?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, a Sports Psychology course could be for you. Trifocus Fitness Academy is a leader in health and fitness education, offering an extensive array of health and fitness qualifications at competitive prices. To find out more about our sports psychology course or another internationally accredited fitness course, speak to one of our qualified consultants at 0861 444 765.