The 3 Steps to Elite Performance
For athletes to be successful at the highest level it is critical that they fulfill 3 of the bottom areas discussed below. Some athletes may be stronger in one or two of the areas where some athletes may only dedicate most of their mental game to one. Below, I explain how each area relates to peak performance.
Preparation is the foundation of all competition. It is here where the athlete gets ready both mentally and physically hours, days, weeks and more before an event. Many athletes have some level of preparation such as a warm up routine or a training schedule; however, what is often lacking in an athlete's training regimen is how to prepare mentally early on for stressful situations in competition. As a result, many athletes still get overwhelmed by nerves or struggle maintaining focus when they need it the most.
Process is one of the biggest mental factors that enhances or debilitates performance in competition. Often, the athlete who is able to focus more on the process is the one who comes out on top. This is because process has to do with an athlete's ability of staying in the present moment. To improve process focus it is important for athletes to set very small goals that focus on commands and not results. Also, athletes should avoid focusing on more than process 1 thought at a time. Should athletes always focus on the process? Not always, in some sports such as golf, athletes have long breaks in-between shots where it is often better to focus on things outside of the sport itself. This "mental break" helps many athletes stay calm and not over think due to keeping their mind off the game when it is not necessary.
Positive emotions are often the most overlooked skill that athletes need in order to perform at a high level. Unfortunately, many athletes get caught up in how to prepare and respond tactically and technically in play that they do not plan for how to manage their emotions in a game. The ironic part about performance is that when athletes discuss performing their best or "being in the zone" they often state details related to their positive emotions and do not recall any thoughts what so ever.
In summary, athletes who want to reach their highest level should take a moment to analyze the 3 areas of success. After analyzing the 3 areas create a plan for how to improve the quality and start seeing better results in your game. To develop a professional mental game start training your mental game with SPMI. SPMI provides sessions locally and internationally and creates a customized mental toughness program to meet every athlete's needs.