10-point guide to winning the mental game - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

10-point guide to winning the mental game

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Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 4:24 pm

Every athlete can develop a pro mindset to peak their performance and achieve ongoing success. It doesn’t matter how good you already are, because mental training can get you better. As such, all competitive athletes should work on strengthening their mindset. In fact, mental skills and strategies can be learned and practiced similar to physical skills. Below are 10 mental skills and strategies that can help athletes go from good to greatest:

1. Goal-setting: Learn how to set daily improvement goals and clearly define what you want to accomplish in the long-haul.

2. Mental imagery: Learn how to vividly see and feel yourself performing at the top of your game.

3. Self-talk: Learn how to keep your thoughts positive and powerful.

4. Confidence: Learn how to trust your training and talent.

5. Focus: Learn how to stay on target in the face of distractions.

6. Breath control: Learn how to breathe easily and deeply under pressure.

7. Mental toughness: Learn how to stay positive and resilient when adversity strikes.

8. Anxiety management: Learn how to manage performance anxiety before competition.

9. Body language: Learn how to carry yourself as a champion in everything you do.

10. Intensity: Learn how to maintain an energy level just right for the purpose at hand (not too up, not too down).

• Sports psychology consultant Dr. Jim Afremow and his wife, Anne, have been residents of Ahwatukee Foothills since 2000. Reach him at (602) 999-4168, jim.afremow@cox.net or www.goldmedalmind.net.

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