Postdate: 20 September 2017
Many top athletes and sports psychologists will agree that mental strength is vital to get to the finish line. It is necessary to overcome obstacles, to challenge yourself, and to persevere, so you will reach your ultimate goal.
This is how mental strength works
Mental resilience is about the extent to which you can adapt to situations and move with the changes. Top athletes, generally, have an enormous mental strength. They can better cope with physical pain, have a maximal perseverance, and are extremely dedicated. To themselves and to the sport. Especially during long games or competitions, the mental resilience is tested. When you are often preoccupied with the signals your body gives you, such as a cold or fatigue, and you keep repeating to yourself that you cannot do something, you won't be able to keep going. During a game, the intensity decreases as the game progresses, so your mental strength is engaged in a continuous battle: either you quit, or you give yourself for the full hundred percent.
From big to small goals
According to sports psychologist Hardy Menkehorst, many athletes run the risk of being too motivated, which may lead to an overburdening of their physical and mental abilities. Do you want to complete a long, intensive game? Then it is not just important to train your body, but also your mental relaxation and your capacity to cope with setbacks. Acceptance, finding the rest within yourself, and continuation is a sign of maximum mental strength. Another important characteristic is the ability to perform well under pressure, which makes you forget everything around you. Imagine how you would react to negative thoughts or influence from outside during a game so you can stay focused on your goal. Turn these into powerful, positive statements or distractions that you can call on everywhere and any time. Some athletes do sums inside their heads in order to think of setbacks. There are also many athletes who focus on the next stage or moment during their race: they divide their main goal into smaller goals, such as the next drinking post.
As a top athlete, you have already built up a lot of perseverance. It is not just about the distance, but primarily about the personal road you travel to reach your ultimate goal. The most important thing is that you can recharge yourself mentally during an important game.
'Triathlons are 90% mental and the other half physical'