The Winning Way

By Ria

Mental Attitude

To become the best you must have positive beliefs fuelling the mind and positive foods fuelling the body and a total balance in mind, body and spirit. This cannot be written off as some ‘fad’, or ‘crazy idea’, these aspects have been proved time over and is the ultimate in inner and outer body care. A negative belief system can be overturned by positive beliefs if the individual wants to do so. To get us off the starting blocks we must teach ourselves to think in successful terms before the success becomes real - all achievements begin with thought. A success consciousness has then got to be built - this is our success recipe - a plan.

The success consciousness entails a few steps:

This is not a five-minute wonder prescription - it takes time to get negative beliefs, it will take time to create positive ones. Things such as defeatist thoughts, worries of performance and whether your brainy enough become the dominant thoughts in many a mind - it is strong thought of failure, people then think that if they don’t try then they won’t fail. This is a debilitating state to be in as there is so much in life to try, to experience and go for. Our potentials are only fractionally used, the rest is rotting - just think of what could be achieved if all potential was utilised - think of what talents you have, the information you know and what self-motivation you have - realise what you have and use it.

Emotion is a very strong force. It is an aspect of ourselves that can undermine competitors performances unless handled correctly. Even when things seem to be going right, emotion can be the one harmful thing - whether it be emotions connected to family, angry, fearful, worry over illness, or how you generally feel about yourself on the day can all stack up to against you and decide whether you will win or lose. Emotion is physically draining and therefore can lead to physical injury.

Positive Belief Strategies - "you can if you think you can". PBS are phrases that can be repeated over and over again to yourself - these will in turn, over time, overthrow your negative aspects. You will believe what you are telling yourself. You tell yourself you are a winner and you will be - even if it isn’t on your first try - this is called your ‘Always a Winner Attitude’. A quote to sum this up is from Karl Menninger who said:’ Men do not break down because they are defeated - but only because they think they are.’

It is Important to Relax

Relaxation, in any form ie music, massage, localised ie neck, cue words, which is practiced before and after a performance will help an athlete to stay in control and also to prevent any developing of tension in the muscles. Another way of preparing for competition is Visualisation, which always takes place after relaxation.

Visualisation is when the competitor can picture the sport setting, experience the atmosphere; it is allowing the person to experience the event as if they are there. They can run the event over in their head i.e. their start, their perfect technique - you can end this session with a vision of your perfect performance. This skill can also be used to pre-empt any problems i.e. weather conditions - this then means you can be ready to handle any outcome.

To complete the mental preparation there must be a strategy - it is a routine that a competitor can follow on the day of competition. It gives details of deadlines, travel, times, warm up, practice. It gives enough details so that if something goes awry at the competition i.e. delays, then the competitor can still read and follow the strategy plan and more importantly will still feel in control and leaves any doubts at low levels or non existent if it is the perfect strategy.