You know that modern sports are not everything about hard work and skill development. Rather, you can call it a complete teamwork of intensive training, right sporting equipment, specialized exercises for strength build-up, unique diet plans, sports medicines and last but not the least psychological exercises.
Coming to the question of psychology, did you know that some basic tips up your sleeve can help you go a long way enhancing your racing performance? Here are some pointers, which only a professional and paid psychologist might help you with…
Tip#1: Preparing Yourself
‘What’ you want to do in the race and ‘how’ you will make it are the most vital aspects of any race and run. You can develop a mental strategy to accomplish it with the help of the following exercises:
- Have you checked the course? If yes, then how many times?
- Have you adjusted yourself to the immediate environment of the race course?
- What has been the best part of your skiing training? What are your current experiences and performances?
- What should be focused on before and during the race?
- Have you tuned in your hands and feet?
- What has been your purpose of joining the race? What is your aim today?
- What is stressing you right at the point of time?
- Are you well aware of the probable mental blocks that you might encounter during the race? If yes, then how do you think that you can overcome the hurdles psychologically while competing?
Tip#2: Starting At The Gate 1
It is that phase of the race where it is quite normal to get anxiety attacks of simply feel nervous. While a little bit of nervousness can actually enhance your performance, too much of it can impair your skill and affect your concentration adversely.
So to counter it at the starting gate:
- Focus on your racing plan- break down your strategy to each gate.
- Envisage the race and think how YOU would like to race there. Concentrate on how you wish to feel, see, notice, hear and imagine while the race is on.
Tip#3: While on the Gate 3
It is the time when you set your mood for racing.
- Think of what state of mind would help you perform your best?
- Carry your iPod so that you can listen to some music that would ignite the very emotion that you would wish to feel before and at the time of the race.
Tip# 4: Elicit Self-Awareness
You might have read about the necessity to harp on self-awareness in order to build self-confidence, and wondered that what they can be all about. Well, think of the following pointers:
- What type of beliefs, thoughts, and feelings would be the best for you right at the racing time?
- What type of beliefs, thoughts, and feelings would be adverse for you during the racing time?
Tip#5: Listen To Your Inner Dialogue
Practice a positive self-conversation before, during, as well as after the competition. Avoid negative dialogues as it can shift your focus anytime.
Tip#6: Delving Deeper Into Concentration
As you head more towards the starting point of race, get wary of the distractions that might be adverse to you during the competition.
As a Ski Racer, you can get some help by pre-verbalising/ listing on the things that always distract you. Even if you fail to overcome in the first race, then take special efforts to change your cause of distraction into an appropriate focal point for the second race. This exercise, of course, is tougher than what it appears, and it does need some extensive practice beforehand.
Tip# 7: Can You Handle The Pressure?
There is no apparent shortcut to manage the obvious pressure that comes with competition unless you work on developing self-awareness and harp on your mental strong points.
However, the key to having a happy racing experience is, make sure that you love what you are doing!