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.
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