The Open is around the corner, and you’re likely doing your last-minute prep. But while you’re probably hyper-focused on your physical training, you must not overlook your mental wellbeing. Your mind and body are intrinsically linked. If you want both to perform well, you’ll have to give both your undivided attention. So, in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the simplest ways you can mentally prepare for the Open.
How to Mentally Prepare for the Open
1. Quit Thinking About Other Competitors
With countless athletes competing in the Open, it could be enough to throw you off your game. Even though you know this is for fun, if there’s one thing that can shake your confidence, it’s the belief that other competitors will be bigger, faster, and stronger than you. The key here is to focus on yourself, not the other competitors. If you do your very best, remember to have fun, and always keep a positive mindset, you will have a solid foundation on which to compete.
2. Practice Getting in the Zone
When the Open starts, your mind should be ready. In reality, this is something you can practice all day, every day — by focusing on the task at hand and nothing else, whether it’s responding to emails or washing dishes.
Create a mental space in which you can perform. During the competition, you need to focus on your movements, pacing, and breathing. Any other thoughts are certain to be counterproductive to your success. That’s why it’s vital you learn how to get into the zone. Block out everything else and aim to give 100% of your attention to the activity in which you’re engaging.
3. Visualize Yourself Succeeding
Never underestimate the power of your own imagination. Research suggests the act of merely picturing yourself succeeding or looking at motivational imagery could be enough to boost your self-confidence and self-efficacy.
At times, when you’re focussed on improving your performance, you may lose sight of the finishing line. Don’t make that mistake. Meditate on how amazing it feels to get your WOD on with your friends and, crucially, what this kind of happiness looks like in your mind. This practice could be just what you need to take your game to the next level.
4. Create an Inspiring Mantra
Equally, an inspiring mantra could be just the thing to push you forward and help you perform during the Open. Your mantra should be short and straight to the point. For example, something direct, such as, “I am strong enough to succeed,” is ideal.
Get into the habit of repeating this mantra in your head while you’re training. The words will encourage you to stay on the right track and help you to focus your mind.
5. Remember Why You’re Competing
Why you’re competing is just as important as how you’re competing. One of the most effective ways to motivate yourself is to recall the reason you registered for the Open in the first place.
Self-Determination Theory dictates that autonomy, competence, and relatedness must be satisfied so we can reach our goals. In layman’s terms, that means we have to be free to set the goal, good enough to achieve it, and it must relate to our lives. So, training hard and keeping your eye on the reason you’ve decided to compete will help you perform at your optimum level. Never lose sight of your goal.
6. Get the Rest You Need
Recovery is the cornerstone of the training process. As the Open kicks into gear, you could be tempted to up your training regime at the cost of your recovery time. However, if you fail to give your body the rest it so desperately needs, you could find it hinders your fitness and, ultimately, you burn out both mentally and physically.
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Design a schedule that allows for regular breaks and recovery days. It may feel counterintuitive, but it’s what you need.
Now that you understand how to get your mind in shape for the Open, it’s time to put those ideas into action. Combining mentally healthy activities with physical training is a winning plan. Good luck!