Mindset: The Importance of Mental Performance

by Mike Pratt ( MP Performance)
Monster Spokesmodel

I can't tell you how many people I encounter that for one reason or another hit a brick wall or loose their ability to maintain a positive mind set and achieve their fitness goals. I am asked quite often, what do I actually mean by mindset. For that reason I thought I would post this on behalf of those who have asked.

Over the last 20 years I have worked and advised some of the worlds top athletes as a performance and strength coach. One of the most consistent factors that the majority of them have in common, regardless of the sport, was their mindset. For elite level performance training, the intensity required in my gym workouts required high levels of mental performance as well as the physical and technical aspects of the sessions, which was an essential as part of my coaching.

For these workouts to have a successful impact on performance l had 5 requirements from the mindset side of the workout from my athletes.

(1) drive

(2) a positive belief system that tells them they can achieve

(3) focus and concentration

(4) high self-esteem

(5) self-control

A lot people in everyday life who don't want to become a world class athlete, don't understand how their mindset can hold them back from reaching even simple goals. I have seen this more often than not, especially when it comes to health and fitness goals, weather it is building a physique or losing weight.

There are three factors that can influence our ability, regardless if your a world class athlete or someone starting out in the gym. These are our fitness levels, our technical skills and our mindset.

The reason I am big into the mental aspect of training is to help people overcome mental blocks that prevent them from reaching their full potential. I have seen many clients transform from having a weak belief system or philosophies and exchange them with more positive and healthier beliefs the lead to exceptional physical results and outcomes.

Cultivating and maintaining a positive mindset is absolutely essential for everyone, regardless of their goals or level of ability. When confronted with this myself, from time to time, I break the mindset process down into four simple stages that formulate my whole mindset principle – motivation, belief, focus and application.

MOTIVATE – ‘to stimulate towards action

Developing an effective mindset starts with motivation. Motivation is the initial spark in the process. Without it, there can be no action. Furthermore motivation is an active and ongoing process, that remains of paramount importance throughout your training program or for that matter any personal endeavour.

BELIEF– ‘confidence’

Whatever your goals may be, to reach them you have to believe it is possible. To this end an attitude of confidence must be cultivated, and maintained, at all times. As with motivation, belief is an active and ongoing process that must be carefully and consistently nurtured.

FOCUS – ‘a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity’

While an overall awareness of and focus on your goals is important at all times it is in the act of training that it is most vital. Your training time is your time. Clear your mind of clutter and distractions. Focus your thoughts clearly and sharply on the task in hand. Practice and repetition will improve your ability to focus and yet again it is important to remember that this is an active, ongoing and never-ending process.

APPLICATION – ‘to put into action’

This is the end result of the process. With the correct mindset in place, you will be in a position to apply all of the technical and physical tools you have worked so hard for in the gym, to achieve your goals in the most productive manner possible.

Motivate yourself, believe in yourself, focus and apply yourself wholeheartedly but most of all enjoy yourself and have some fun !

Why don't you share your stories of how you mindset works against you or pass on any unique helpful tips.

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