Mental Training

As the name suggests, Mental Training is a process through which individuals can improve their attitude and mental skills to perform their best, both physically and mentally. 

This can be seen as a relationship between your body’s physical and mental aspects, wherein you train your mind to help you perform at your level best in all activities.

How are the mind and body connected?

This connection can simply be explained by understanding that whatever occurs in our body affects our mind, and whatever arises in our mind has an effect on our body. You can notice these connections in your everyday life, such as:

  1. Many people use physical exercises as a way to relieve their emotional and mental duress
  2. You can achieve a sense of calm and relaxation by thinking about grateful thoughts
  3. Your nerves are calmed down by laughing
  4. Taking deep breaths often calms you down for events where you might be nervous

Through these examples, we understood how we control our reactions mentally and how this helps us perform better.

Types of Mental Training

Although there isn’t a clear demarcation of the different types of Mental Training as different exercises suit different people, we can broadly categorize them as:

  • Guided Visualisations- These help individuals move more efficiently towards achieving the goals that they’ve set for themselves.
  • Affirmations and Positive Talks- These help you by boosting your self-confidence as well as esteem. This helps redirect your negative thoughts to a place where you can work on them and not let them harm your mental and physical state.
  • Team Workshops- Affirmations, stress training, goal setting, and other dynamic training should be conducted as a group activity. This helps immensely improve one’s mental peace and space.

There are specific disciplines based on which we conduct mental training exercises. These disciplines and exercises help you to acquire mental skills such as resilience, strategy, and strength. Some of them are:

  1. Deep breathing
  2. Goal setting
  3. Meditation
  4. Self-talk
  5. Affirmations
  6. Visualization
  7. Positive psychology
  8. Concentrating on the process rather than the result

Benefits of Mental Training

Mental Training can help you outplay your opponents in any competition and give you an edge over them by overcoming mental barriers such as mental fatigue, lack of confidence, nervousness, and much more. It helps in:

  1. Being more focused
  2. Quick recovery
  3. The essence of being brave
  4. Maintaining composure
  5. Improving your confidence

Is Mental Training recommended for Coaches?

Yes, Mental Training is just as crucial for coaches as it is for players, as this can help in:

  • You will be able to teach and part your knowledge of mental training with your team with experience as the belief in mental training yourself is very important.
  • You can efficiently work together with your team.
  • You’ll gain clarity on how to coach and recenter and properly train your team in subjects of mental peace and its importance.
  • You will gain extra support of emotional stress after training; this helps in acute pressure situations.
  • You will be educated on the proper tools for de-stressing.

Techniques for Mental Preparation in sports

  1. Understand the various parts of mental training: Just as any physical fitness training program, mental training also has 5 essential components to it, known as the “Five C”, namely:
    1. Commitment – dedication towards pre-determined goals 
    2. Courage- the desire to challenge oneself to more extraordinary lengths 
    3. Concentration- ability to push through tough challenges 
    4. Control- the ability to manage your emotions well throughout the ups and downs of the game
    5. Confidence- in their capabilities
  2. Assessing your strengths and weaknesses: The easiest way to start with this is for the player to complete a profiling test. This is done by listing all the individual components of the athlete’s game and having them rate themselves on a scale from 1 to 10.

     

  3. Choosing practical exercises: Through the profiling test result, we assess which components need to be urgently addressed and then start creating exercises to build mental fitness. These exercises need to be done consistently for them to show their maximum effect. Some examples of the activities can be visualization, self-talk, positive psychology, etc. For instance, for a person suffering from pre-game anxiety, it might be a wise idea to start with a deep breathing exercise.
  4. Add structure to your mental training routine: This might just be considered the most critical step in your training. Exercises should be implemented into a structured routine for the athlete to be able to follow meticulously.

FAQs

Ques. Can insomnia be cured through Mental Training?
Ans.
 Yes, through specific exercises, such as deep breathing, insomnia can slowly be cured.

Ques. Is there Mental Training for the military?
Ans. Your mental space is a significant part of warfare and is essential for the military

Ques. Is Mental Training required in karate?
Ans. Yes. Since persistence is an asset in karate, the training of your mind becomes essential.

Ques. Do MMA champions train mentally?
Ans. Yes, confidence is a huge key to winning any competition, and hence, mental training is required.

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