Confidence is the fuel behind being a champion. Every other aspect of the mentality you can think of that a high level athlete would need all revolve around confidence. Determination is when you refuse to give up. You refuse to give up because you’re confident in your body. You’re confident that if you keep going, you keep persevering and you keep pushing your limits, you’ll eventually get to where you want to be.
Powerlifting is such a mentally demanding sport. Having the right mind set can add or remove a huge amount of weight from your lift. For the sport of powerlifting, there is very much so a real ‘’life and death’’ threat. Your body picks up on this, when you get under that crushing 200kg+ of squat and alarm bells go off. Your body starts screaming and your mind hears it. Suddenly you start going “What the hell am I doing?!” You’ve already defeated yourself. Your body isn’t going to believe it can do it, so it won’t do it. Simple as that.
Confidence is a must. Too often people listen to the body and allow it to speak when it gets tired and the work from training begins. Tell it to shut it. Make your body stop screaming and make it listen to the mind.
When the time comes for the challenge of the workout, I always go silent. When I squat, I visualise myself doing each rep. I replicate how each rep is going to feel, how taxing it is going to be on my body and where I’m going to feel it. I picture which rep is going to be the start of fatigue, so I’m ready for it. I picture my muscles contracted, my body tight and my form perfect. I see myself descend into depth and suddenly reverse the movement. I predict where the drive of each rep is going to come and where the finishing line is so I know exactly where my target is. I have my spotter count for me – I clear my mind and all I focus on is rereading what my visualisation of the set was. It never fails me and I have never failed my mind. When I get my body 100% behind my mind, I always succeed.
All it ever comes down to is confidence. You have to see yourself doing it. You have to picture yourself lifting it. Convince your mind, trick it if needs be. Just see yourself succeeding and you will. In competition, you create your own pressure. If you start psyching yourself out, you’ll let doubt creep in to your mind. Without being nasty to everyone, you need to be an arrogant, confident and cocky person. You can’t accept anything putting you off. You can never blame yourself. Never allow yourself to be wrong – you have to reinforce that you are the best, that your time will come. That determination will drive you to your next goal and that determination will be fuelled by the confidence that you will get there.
It all comes down to having that confidence. Never accept your body’s word that it is impossible, that it is too much and that you are simply not good enough. You will achieve anything you see yourself doing. So when you step up to push yourself harder than you have before, to lift more than you have ever done so, who are you going to listen to – your body or you?