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Mental Performance

What is mental performance training & why is it not practiced?

Leon Abravanel
April 21, 2017

Let us start with what mental performance is. Simply put, it is your mind operating optimally during a performance.

What is Mental Performance (MP)?

Let us start with what mental performance is.  Simply put, it is your mind operating optimally during a performance.

Easy enough.

What is Mental Performance Training (MPT)?

This is a bit more complicated, but MPT is training your mind to perform optimally.  It is creating habits in your mind through repetition.  Think of it like technical soccer training, the reason players train rep after rep after rep of the same move is so that their body can perform that technique properly without thinking.  The key word is ‘repetition’ over time.  One day of MPT is good, but it is not enough to change a player’s mental performance.  Only through sustained MPT training over time will a player elevate their mental capacity.

Why we do not practice mental performance?

We often ask our athletes to ‘focus’, or to ‘dig in’, or to ‘let it go’, but how do we expect our athletes to do these things properly without teaching them how.  

The two main reasons we do not practice mental performance are:

  • Coaches only have so many hours of training per week.  
  • If they add mental performance training, then they are taking away from technical or tactical training they can be doing with their teams.
  • Mental Performance has a stigma that it is ‘too complicated’.  
  • Everyone believes that mental fortitude is a key to success in sports (and in life), but because mental performance training is perceived as complicated, most of us do not know where to start.  

The truth is, with little effort, an individual can train their mind to be optimal during performance, and a coach can incorporate mental training into their technical/tactical team training.

Continue reading these article for the secrets to elevating your mental game:

  • “How to start training your mind - individual”
  • “How to incorporate mental performance training into your team training sessions - coaches”
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