Category: Imagery

The Power Five: Performance Mindset

We all want to find ways to increase our mental game to compete our best on game day. And while we can’t always control outcomes, we can control how we prepare and what tools we use to get in the right mind space before and during competition.  Finding that sweet spot requires a performance mindset. 

What is a Performance Mindset?

A performance mindset is a way of seeing performance as a collection of small, controllable steps and skills, and prioritizing those which are necessary to succeed. Think of a performance mindset like putting gas in your car the night before a long drive.  The task of filling up the tank is essential to having a successful road trip.  Forget to fill it up?  Chances are, your drive won’t be too fun. 
“Great athletes with a strong performance mindset are ve...

The Use of Healing Imagery and Pain Management Imagery in Injured Athletes

Unfortunately, injuries are part of being an athlete and will likely affect the majority of those who participate in organized sports. Sometimes, enduring an injury can sideline you for a few days. Other times, it can take you away from the game for months or even a full season. When athletes are cleared, they are physiologically cleared, meaning they are allowed to go back to full contact and no restrictions because the injury is healed. On the other hand, psychologically speaking, the athlete may not be ready to return. Athletes are typically eager to get back into their sport after an injury. However, when they are finally able to participate again, the feeling isn’t quite the same. When performance isn’t familiar upon return, athletes may be discouraged and upset, which may lead to aggravation and loss of passion for the game. This could lead to depression and anxiety.    In the past, the psychol...

Just Imagine: You Can Improve Your Mental Toughness

You’re in the lead, heart pounding, racing forward through the pain toward the finish. In the last moments, you see your competition come up next to you. Do you have what it takes to win? More often than we might think, the difference between first and second, between winning and losing, between making the cutoff time or just barely missing it, is in our minds. In those last few seconds, did you truly give all that you had? Did you use every single ounce of energy that your body could produce, or were you unable to tap into that last tiny bit? Could you have pushed just the slightest bit harder to edge out your opponent? My guess is that physically, you were capable of more…but mentally, you were not. And if you did not win, this is likely the reason why. The ability to persevere in the face of pressures, challenges, and adversities is a highly sought-after trait in athletes and coaches alike (Mattie & Munroe-Chandler, 2011). Mental toughness is the key ...