Ever see the details of a workout and become disappointed when you realize there is a movement you struggle with or a time domain that isn’t in your wheelhouse? If you are frustrated or nervous, that will affect your performance to come, and it doesn’t matter how physically capable you are, if your mental game is weak, you are weak.
Negative Self Talk
When going through a workout (in your wheelhouse or not) and it gets challenging, and you tell yourself “I can’t do this” or “cmon don’t suck,” or any other combo of negative words this can be defeating. This kind of repeated negative talk will have an impact on your performance, you will begin to consistently think negative and doubt yourself in times of adversity.
The Growth Mindset
To combat these negative thoughts or views that deflate your performance you need to adopt and practice a growth mindset. Having a growth mindset will aid in building confidence and allow your skills to grow much faster because you always learn from failing.
For example, if there is a movement in a WOD that you aren’t proficient at, instead of being disappointed or nervous you should be excited. This is an opportunity to improve on a movement that is challenging, and it’s also an opportunity to work on managing a workout with a difficult movement and learning to pace your weaknesses, so they slow you down as little as possible. If two athletes are lacking ability in the same movement but one has a growth mindset and one does not the athlete with the growth mindset will perform better and make progress faster.
Another way the growth mindset can aid you is in workouts that require a significant amount of effort, some might say when you need to go to “the dark place.” It’s no easy task to continue to push hard when you’re in pain and don’t know if you can push harder but this is where the growth mindset comes into play. When you’re trying to go to “the dark place” and the workout is really starting to hurt don’t get discouraged get excited! Scream in your head “This is where I get better”, when this becomes a habit you will look forward to feeling that workout pain and difficulty because you are aware that you are making progress. Being excited about it will motivate you to push harder allowing you to push harder for longer. Yay increased work capacity!
Adopting the growth mindset will take time and practice, but it will pay off with increased performance.
An athlete with a weak mindset is a weak athlete.