What Type of Mentality Helps You Perform?

Occasionally I feature posts from other individuals who have helpful input about the mental side of fitness, training or life. I learn a lot from the athletes who I work with, and I love to share their stories and tips.

Enjoy this post by April Lowe, CrossFit Masters Athlete (2015 &2016 CF Games) and someone who I’ve had the pleasure of coaching over the past 6 months. She recently finished 3rd place at The 2017 Wodapalooza and is prepping for The Open.


What Type of Mentality Helps You Perform Your Best?

I have discovered recently that I perform my best when I approach each competitive situation with a thankful heart. I found this out in the last few months while competing in the MIA Classic and American Open Weightlifting Meets, The Wodapalooza Qualifier, and The Wodapalooza.

As I am reflecting on these last few months and comparing it to my experience at the 2016 CrossFit Games, I realize the biggest difference from then to now is my attitude. See, at The Games, I didn’t feel like I had the mental composure and strength that I do now. At the time, I wasn’t sure what to focus on and how to set myself up for success. I wasn’t able to perform like I felt I was capable of performing, mostly because of my mental game. I knew that I needed to make a change, and begin working on it as soon as I got home from Carson. I hired Dawn Fletcher and we got to work.

We are all motivated by different factors. No one way is right or wrong. I have tried different approaches over the years. I have never competed well in an angry or aggressive – that will never help me PR or move faster in a metcon. Getting super hyped doesn’t work either because I start off too fast and fizzle out. And even though I believe I have always been grateful for what I get to do, I never consistently felt that way in competitions. Mostly, I’ve just walked around in a haze feeling scared, nervous and anxious in competitions.

When I am intentional about finding gratitude in the middle of the competitive event, everything changes. I stop looking at my competitors and comparing, I stop feeling fearful and afraid… I feel less stressed. TIME SLOWS DOWN. I laugh, I smile, I feel lighter. I embrace the nerves instead of wasting energy fighting them. I find ways to ENJOY the moment.

In the middle of all the craziness of a competition, I start giving thanks.

I give thanks for:

  • My coaches and the support crew for giving up their time to coach me in the event
  • My health, athleticism, and strength
  • The opportunity to reconnect with so many friends I rarely get to see
  • The awesome text messages and well wishes my friends and family are sending me
  • The nerves because I know they are telling me I am doing something that matters
  • The ability to live a life that challenges and excites me
  • The fact that I get to/choose to do this

In the past, I’d allow my thoughts and emotions to be determined by my surroundings and the people around me. Now, I know how to prep myself mentally, so I can determine my attitude, which sets me up for performing my best. I commit to certain practices that help me feel calmer and more confident.

I’m continuing to work on my mentality because I know that I want to be able to adapt to anything that CrossFit (or life) throws at me. I want to stay present, stay grateful and continue to compete with the best in the sport. I want to focus on what I can control, and trust that the rest will work itself out, hopefully taking me back to The Games.

It’s exciting to have finally tapped into what makes me a better competitor and more importantly what makes competing so much more enjoyable. What type of mentality helps you perform your best? Comment below.


Connect With April

Instagram: cfaklowe

Contact: aprillowe9@gmail.com


Build A Stronger Mind


I’m Dawn Fletcher, the owner of Driven Mind. I help driven-individuals perform better and achieve greatness in all that they do.

Reader Interactions


  1. Kris says

    For me, the best mindset is to battle against my best, and not worry about others. Sure, when running a race there are other people all around you, but I can’t control other people’s genetics or training or effort. I can just control my own. I’m just a weekend athlete so maybe it’s different at higher levels of competition, but that’s the mindset that works best for me.

    • ffmentalitywod says

      Thanks for your comment Kris, I think that’s very helpful insight to add to the convo – it is a LEARNED practice and I think every athlete can benefit from continuing to refocus on that which you can influence

  2. Kalana says

    Very interesting approach here! I have never thought about this.

    Personally, I have a very different approach. I write all my goals down onto paper, I write EXACTLY how I am going to achieve them – and a deadline for when I will achieve them.

    Currently, I have some fat on my stomach which I am working hard at removing before bulking again. When I workout at the gym, say for example – when I am running on the treadmill or doing laps in the pool. I have this mentality where I “pretend” I am a machine. I say in my head “I am going to keep on going for x amount of minutes.” And I literally think, “there is no way, under no circumstances that I am going to stop. If I end up in hospital, that is fine. As long as I reach my goal.” It’s a very ‘hardcore’ mentality, but I have found it to be very beneficial personally.

    I am actually thinking of writing an article about this sort of mentality on my blog. I think when you trick your conscious mind into thinking this body is not yours, but of a machine, then subconsciously you are able to push yourself even harder.

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