Mental Prepartion: Being Ready to Perform at Your Best

By Chad Doerr. M.A. @Chaddoerr

Mental Preparation, Virginia Sports Psychology
Photo Courtesy: sportzovertime.com

We can all recall images of people performing at their best, when it mattered most. From Michael Jordan’s “Last Shot” in the 1998 NBA Finals, to Chris Davis’ 108 yard touchdown in the Iron Bowl, these memories all inspire us to have our elite performance when it’s all on the line. But how do we get to the point where we can perform with focus, confidence, and determination in crunch time?

Before we dive into this, as yourself these questions:
1. What percentage of your sport is physical?
2. What percentage is mental?
3. How did you spend your time training this week?

Often times, coaches and athletes answer that their sport is anywhere from 30 to 90 percent mental when we ask these questions in our workshops. Yet, they spend almost all of their time honing their physical skills.

Anybody can run. Anybody can kick a ball. Anybody can swing a bat. But through practice and feedback from coaches, people develop effective and efficient ways to consistently run faster, kick harder, and make better contact with the ball. Practice through years of repetition separates an ordinary person from a good athlete.

However, when was the last time you trained your mental skills? Anyone can breathe. Anyone can focus. Anyone can have confidence. But with quality training and coaching, you can build your mental skills to efficiently and effectively breathe, focus, and build your confidence. That way, those skills are there for you when you need them, just like your physical skills. This type of mental preparation separates the good athlete from the great athlete.

That’s where sport psychology and the Challace J. McMillin Center for Sport Psychology comes in. We can teach you the skills necessary to take your training to the next level.

When your moment comes, are you going to be ready to perform?