Sports Psychology: How To Win Your Next Competition: 31 Tips To Help You Perform Your Best

If you’re a sales person, a manager, an entrepreneur, a trial lawyer, a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, you frequently need an edge to perform to your fullest potential.

If you know how to get into the zone and stay there, you definitely will have the edge or advantage you need to win, beat your competition and perform to you fullest potential.

What Is The Zone?

In short, the zone is a state of relaxed concentration where there is no self-criticism. You are confident, relaxed, focused and living in the present. Furthermore, there is a sense of enjoyment, your actions seem automatic and easy and there is an increased belief that your dreams can become realities.

It is interesting to note that the zone parallels and matches a hypnotic state of mind.

Thirty One Tools You Need To Use Effectively To Stay In The Zone

The author has worked with thousands of world class athletes, young athletes and weekend warriors. He has evaluated and helped Olympic champions.

Below you will find a simple questionnaire and rating system that can athletes, coaches and parents of athletes to understand the elements which comprise the zone. Readers of this article will also understand what the common barriers are to getting into the zone.

Here are the questions.

Simply rate yourself from 1-10 on each of the questions.

You can use ratings from zero to ten and you can use decimal points. Ten is the highest rating you can get a zero is the lowest rating.

  1. How confident do you feel?
  2. How relaxed do you feel?
  3. How focused do you feel?
  4. How well have you been practicing?
  5. How resilient do you feel?
  6. How well do you sleep the night before a competition?
  7. Are your eating, sleeping and exercising patterns in balance with one another?
  8. How much fun do you have when you compete?
  9. Can you quiet self -criticism?
  10. Do you engage in positive self-talk?
  11. Are you able to tune out distractions?
  12. Are you able to stay in the present?
  13. Do you have pre-shot routines that you consistently use?
  14. Do you have a “Plan B,” if your “A Game” is not working?
  15. Do you follow and eating regime that makes sense for your body and your sport?
  16. Can you empty your mind and trust your athletic body?
  17. Can you quiet your mind to focus on just one thing?
  18. Are you injury free?
  19. Are you able to control any interpersonal problems or stressors?
  20. Do you use a simple mantra, phrase or tune to reset your mind and your body during before, during and after you compete?
  21. Do you know how to recover from a loss, setback or slump?
  22. For young athletes-How is your relationship with your parents?
  23. Have you seen yourself on video in the last ninety days?
  24. Are you grateful for your opportunity to master a sport or a skill?
  25. Do you have a technique to move from choking to the zone?
  26. Are you having fun competing and practicing?
  27. Do you set short and long term measurable goals and objectives?
  28. If you are a religious or spiritual person, do you use prayer as part of your training and as part of your pre-game routine?
  29. How well do you manage the highs and lows that are a part of any challenge?
  30. How is your relationship with your coaches, teammates and colleagues?
  31. Do you practice meditation, visualization, guided imagery or visualization prior to competing and when you practice?

“Ideally, I like to see athletes with scores of 8.5 on most of the above. Being eighty five per cent ready, is usually enough to produce fine performances. So, a perfect score on this test is about 263.5 If you get this score, there is a good chance that you are in a mental frame of mind that will allow you to perform well.

If you discover weaknesses that are causing you to lose matches and tournaments, you need to develop strategies and techniques to overcome these deficiencies.

It is hard to make these kinds of changes on your own. A sport psychologist, coach or mentor can often be quite helpful in building confidence, reducing anxiety, improving focus and in showing you how to enter the zone more often.

If your scores are very low, you can probably benefit from some counseling, mental toughness training or training in self-hypnosis.

Sports Psychology: For Athletes to Deal With Stress on Competitive Day – Preparation

We are often driven by an athlete’s peak performance, admire the way they sometimes manage to pull things off and make us proud. More often than not, these athletes are even labelled as ‘role models’, ‘heroes’ and even ‘gods’, but we tend to forget that they are human beings just like us. They have their ups and downs; they may get upset and blow off a game and fail to impress us.

The difference between a top athlete and a ‘mere’ athlete is the determination, ambition, and the spirit they put into the game on competition day preparation. A good athlete may easily fail and blow the game if he or she fails to take into account one of the mechanisms that keeps him or her in the ‘zone’ and playing in the zone.

According to a study quoted by Sports Injury Bulletin, coaches often attempt to inspire fear in their athletes on competitive day preparation. Such attitudes tend to jeopardize the performance of the athlete and produce stress. Psychological research reveals that 90% of sports injuries in games are stress-related.

Frustration, anxiety, and distraction are the main key factors that prevent an athlete from producing the best performance.

In recent years, successful athletes have proved that for peak performance, the athlete needs to evolve tactical psychological operations techniques. These psychological tactics include, being relaxed, being self-possessed, staying focused, and having a positive self-image. But, it is not always as easy for athletes to develop these techniques as easily said.

They require the support of a mental diet psychologist and need to constantly integrate and apply the rules of sports psychology if they are eager to maintain peak performance while getting rid of psychological stress.

Sports psychology has indeed proved to be a critical tool for developing the requisite mental toughness athletes need to perform well and be at their best.

Sports psychology helps in:

1. aiding athletes to deal with stress and anxiety before the competition day

2. improving in their learning method and major abilities

3. developing positive self-image and confidence

4. staying focused

5. creating the awareness needed for peak performance

6. dealing with competitive anxieties

It is therefore recommended that an athlete work with a sports psychologist who will help you manage stress and instill in you positive thoughts that will help you enhance your performance.