Mental strength training focuses on valuable techniques and strategies that can improve athletic performance and well-being.
Athlete development programs are most effective when they focus on four different training aspects:
Similar to the first three, mental strength training focuses on valuable techniques and strategies that can improve athletic performance and well-being, and can be applied as well into everyday life. There are several different aspects of mental strength training that can be of huge benefit to athletes. First, training mental skills such as self-talk, goal setting, visualization and relaxation help athletes directly improve their athletic performance. These techniques are taught and practiced with the help of a mental performance consultant and, similar to technical skill development, require precision and repetition to master.
Secondly, mental strength training will help athletes understand themselves (self-awareness) and others in order to better deal with their own weaknesses and accept those of others, helping the athlete to function as a team member. For instance, two athletes might react differently to a high-stress situation. Knowing what response works best for yourself and your teammate can help remove tension and increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. Possible ways of achieving this are through: (a) reflecting on past situations, enabling the athlete to explore thoughts and problems, (b) mapping individual optimal emotional profiles in order to understand functional usages of emotions, and (c) facilitating conversations between parties such as teammates, coaches and parents.
Lastly, a substantial focus lies on creating the right environment for athletes to grow and thrive. This can be achieved through inspiring athletes to think for themselves, teaching them how to provide and receive constructive criticism, and directing focus to personal improvement. Focusing on these three aspects of mental strength training gives Osgoode, Ontario athletes the best opportunity to reach the full potential in a balanced and healthy way.