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.  “A performance mindset includes a gro...

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 ...

Preparing for Playoffs

With high school fall seasons coming to an end in Minnesota, and across the country, playoff season has just begun. As a high school athlete, you may be prepared physically because you have been training all season, but how much have you prepared mentally? Playoff games can feel much different than regular season games because they have more riding on them; for example, the chance to go to the state tournament. They are typically more intense and require everyone to be on top of their game. In a study done by the University of Montreal, sport psychologists worked with a professional hockey team to help them prepare for the playoff season. What were their tips on how to prepare mentally for playoffs? Get focused and stay focused so it is easier to “stay in the moment”. Many playoff games go into overtime because ties are not an option. This extra time on the field or on the court may be a challenge for some athletes because they might be physically and emotionally drained. If you...