Three sport psychology tips from April Clay’s latest book, 52 Ways to More Confidence.
1. Define your athletic brand
What is your confidence brand? Every athlete has an overall sense of confidence about their ability to perform in their sport. There will always be strengths and weaknesses in that profile. That’s normal.
You can, however, bolster your overall confidence by choosing an area of specialty.
In other words, choose a skill that will really define you—and go for it. Having this self-chosen superpower can help you get in touch with the rest of your confidence, especially in a pinch. For example, become an expert course walker, study equine body language, study up on the history of equitation. Have fun creating your brand!
2. Beat your opponent, not yourself
Far too often I see riders get in their own way. They are mean, unrelenting, and somehow determined to beat themselves up.
Remember that punishment will do nothing for your performance or your training. It will, however, undermine your confidence. It is perfectly okay for a competitor to beat you in the ring. They had a better day and used their skills well. But it is not okay for you to beat yourself up. Get you on your own side!
3. Train your brain to a different discomfort set point
When endurance athletes train, they are training more than their bodies for mileage. They are training their minds.
The challenge is, we all have a set point in the brain that, when fatigue starts to set in, will alert the body: “Time to slow down, danger.” The athlete cannot listen to this voice or allow it to dominate. Through training, a different discomfort set point must be achieved. In this way, the endurance athlete teaches their body: we can keep going past this line.
All of us have a psychological set point for discomfort. It is that place where the mind will say, “it is just too much, quit now.” But we don’t want that line to go unchallenged. So every day in training you must ask yourself, “is this really where I want to stop?” In order to push that set point, sometimes you are going to have to answer, no, we are going further.
Try it, the benefits will be enormous.
Win a copy of April Clay’s latest e-book 52 Ways to More Confidence! Simply type a comment below. We’ll announce the winner on October 10th, 2016.*
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This post is excerpted from the Ebook 52 Ways to More Confidence by April Clay. Available at ridingoutofyourmind.com.