At Everest Strong Coaching, we work directly with student athletes ranging from youth to high school to enhance the personal training programs they take to improve speed, power, and strength. An athlete looking to pursue a successful athletic career benefits significantly from having a mental game coach and a personal trainer collaborate to provide a peak personal training routine.
Personal training services tend to include:
- Demonstrating and instructing athletes in a safe manner
- Overseeing a strength training program that includes teaching proper lifting techniques; running mechanics for lateral, linear, and change-of-direction movement patterns; and plyometric sequences
- Adjusting athletes’ programs based on their in/off seasons and pre/postseasons
- Implementing nutrition strategies based on goal-oriented outcomes
Mental Game Coaching and Personal Training
Many athletes find themselves performing better during practice but falling short during competitions. Luckily, mental game coaching helps athletes to improve their mental skills and translate them into their sport. Mental training allows athletes to improve their performance and mental skills so that they may compete more consistently.
With mental game coaching, you never have to doubt your abilities on the field, court, or gym. Over time, you can grow your confidence, perfect your pregame routines, and sharpen your mental strategies so that you can manage distractions and stay in the zone faster and longer.
At Everest Strong, you will work with a certified mental game coach to improve your mental strategies. We will gladly work alongside your personal trainer to enhance your practice regimen and make sure that your success in the gym translates to victories on the field.
Performance Issues in Sports
- Low Self-Confidence
When it comes to sports, confidence is measured as one’s belief in their ability to play their sport well. An athlete with confidence has a greater chance at success than an athlete who does not believe in their abilities. Athletes who lack confidence tend to stay in their comfort zone and have doubts about their ability to perform successfully. Because of this, they tend to experience performance anxiety.
- Trust Barriers
Often, athletes have a hard time trusting their ability to perform well. Their minds get in the way of their physical abilities, and they find themselves unable to perform. Because of this, many athletes who deal with this mental block tend to seek mental training to overcome the trust barrier they have with themselves. Through this mental training, athletes can learn to be confident in their game plans and make quick decisions. Over time, this mental clarity leads to better results under pressure.
- High Expectations
Athletes must face the high demands of their coaches, their teammates, and themselves. However, this can often lead to athletes overanalyzing and judging their performances and feeling frustrated when they cannot meet their expectations. When athletes cannot meet these high expectations, it often ruins their confidence, and their performance declines. Mental game coaching will allow the athlete to improve their confidence while breaking down their ties to high expectations.
- Social Approval
Along with athlete’s ability to handle high expectations, they also grapple with the social expectations of succeeding in their sport. There is a fear of failure in all sports that sometimes can lead to anxiety, tension, and generally worrying too much about their outcomes. In the worst-case scenario, the athlete will feel so much pressure that they perform with an overcontrolled, serious mindset. A mental coach can help athletes learn how to cope with social expectations and ultimately be more successful in their sport.
Athletes who are also perfectionists find themselves with intense desires to succeed, high levels of motivation, and a strong work ethic. However, these characteristics can sometimes be harmful when the athlete fails because they will feel an overwhelming sense of failure. Their need to perform perfectly often overrides their ability to enjoy their sport. A mental coach can help athletes avoid overanalyzing, easing their perfectionism-driven mindsets.
Performance Anxiety in Sports
Often referred to as “choking,” performance anxiety in sports is when an athlete’s performance declines due to heightened anxiety or perceived stress. For example, an athlete might experience an increase in perceived stress on a game day due to having an audience or the high expectations that come with it.
In these situations, the athlete’s stress is usually based on how they interpret the situation. In other words, the external situation rarely causes stress; instead, the athlete’s attitude and perception of the situation causes feelings of fear, stress, and anxiety. Unfortunately, however, performance anxiety is often reinforced by coaches when trying to encourage their athletes. For example, a coach might tell the athlete that “the next shot is critical,” which will increase the athlete’s pressure to succeed.
To help an athlete suffering from performance anxiety, coaches, trainers, and sports psychologists often try to help the athlete better understand their thought process and emotions so that they can adjust their mindset. In doing so, the athlete can better manage their anxiety and perform at their highest potential without the fear of choking.
An athlete can deal with their performance anxiety by becoming more self-aware of their negative thoughts before they have a chance to snowball before and after the competition. It is essential to focus on your breathing and try to enjoy playing the sport.
Sports Psychology for Performance Anxiety
Sports psychologists work with athletes dealing with performance anxiety by working on their thoughts before, during, and after matches. We help our athletes genuinely understand their thoughts and feelings, so they can create a process that allows them to perform without letting it affect them.
In addition, athletes who recover from injuries often face a heightened version of performance anxiety. When they relearn the sport, the emotional trauma that comes with the injury often negatively affects their confidence, leading to a decline in performance.
Some helpful tips in reducing performance anxiety include:
- Understanding that jitters are normal
- Preparing yourself mentally and physically
- Visualizing yourself performing well
- Focusing on the task at hand instead of the outcome
- Imagining you are just at another practice
- Forcing yourself to smile and ignore the negative thoughts
How to Get in the Zone for Sports
One of the most important aspects of being an athlete is learning how to get yourself in the zone. Known as the epitome of mental conditioning, getting in the zone is one of the most critical processes to perfect.
Being in the zone means being completely immersed in the task at hand and experience:
- Time slowing down,
- Optimal performance with little thought or effort,
- And a sense of fulfillment during and after the performance.
Typically, a person in the zone will also be energized, in a good mood, doing something they enjoy, and have some skill level.
Typically, people find themselves in the zone at random when doing something they are excited about, enjoy, and have the skillset for. However, getting in the zone is not always seamless. A person can get in the zone by combining various factors to heighten their state of consciousness. To start, a person can get in the zone by sharpening their attention and focus. Being completely in the moment and focusing on the task at hand helps the person zone in. The athlete can also get in the zone by trusting themselves and being confident in their abilities. In having confidence, the athlete doesn’t worry and thus, experiences fewer nerves and fewer mistakes. Even more, a person who matches the skills and challenges of the sport will have an easier time getting in the zone because their goals don’t seem out of reach. It is also important to note that a person experiencing stress will be less likely to get in the zone because it is usually associated with being in a good, positive mood.
Student-athletes face various challenges, including busy schedules, carrying a backpack and a sports bag, and packing food for an entire day of class and practice. Because of this, student-athletes often have to stay on top of things more than the average student. Therefore, student-athletes must do everything they can to set themselves up for success, both athletically and educationally.
Here are the top five tips for becoming the most successful student-athlete:
- Prioritize Early.
The best thing you can do as a student-athlete is to prioritize every decision you make. If you need to add an extra workout or recover longer than you thought, it is important to remember that school will always come first. Although it might seem tempting to hold off on your work for later, you need to make sure that the trade-offs you make prioritize your education. Make a plan and stick to it to keep yourself on track and ready to meet your goals as a student and an athlete.
- Ask for Help.
It would help if you remembered there is no shame in asking for help. Speak up for yourself in class or even go to office hours if you do not wholly understand concepts during the lesson. You can even schedule time for you and your teammates to study together so that you can all reach your academic goals while also helping each other. You must do everything you can to ensure you do not fall behind the rest of your class. The most well-rounded student-athletes know when it is time to ask for help.
- Stay Organized.
The more disorganized you are, the more stress you will feel. If you have laundry piling up and you are missing due dates, you will spend more effort getting things back on track than just staying organized in the first place. It is crucial that you set a specific time in your schedule to organize your life. Whether you set up a calendar with all your big dates or clean up your room, you will be one step closer to finding peace in one aspect of your life as a student-athlete.
- Find Your Motivation.
It is easy to find motivation on the field. However, it is not so easy to find what motivates you in the classroom. You do not have someone motivating you to study the same way your coach makes you condition, so you must find it in yourself to keep going. You can even have the people around you keep you accountable academically. Have your mom check-in or have a teammate study with you. Many student-athletes find success in making themselves their biggest competition. When you want to be better than you were yesterday, you will find that your motivation will not waver.
- Be There for Your Teammates.
Lastly, remember that you are not the only student-athlete stressing about school. Your teammates also need someone to hold them accountable and keep them organized. So, you should strive to be the person you need for them, as well. If you see a teammate struggling, reach out and make sure they can get back on track. You are all on the same team, and you are all trying your hardest to be successful students.
If you’re interested in hearing more about sports performance sessions, call our team at 1-847-778-3997.