In over 20 years in Sport and going from Martial arts to Weightlifting and some Crossfit in between. I have had numerous methods of psyching myself up. Everyone has their own little ways or rituals they do before a lift or before a fight that gets them “in the zone” and ready for battle. I have a few things I like doing but one thing that almost always gets me going is my music.
I have my specific gym playlist I will listen to before training sessions or competitions and often it varies from the more hardcore songs to easy going Christian music like Hillsongs or Bethel. Sometimes I just want to listen to deep songs with motivational words to just get me focused to do my lifts. Another way I get myself psyched up is through visualization just before my lifts with some added self-talk.
I am one that has to get my adrenaline up. Psyching up is often done to help athletes deal with anxiety in sport, it is a great way to get you all fired up and use the negative emotion of worry and transfer it into being positive and aggressive. When you compete there is no time for being shy or soft on the battle field. That is where you take charge and show off all the hard work you have been putting into your training for months on end.
Another way I have gotten myself to psych up just before I compete is walking around and not sitting in between my lifts. I am not sure why I am like that but every so often when I sit I get tired so I make sure I do not sit. I put my headphones on and I walk confidently. This raises self-confidence and makes me game ready! You need to be able to block out negative thoughts as these negative thoughts has negative emotions connected to them and that is where self-doubt creeps in. We need to cut that out of our mind (Slay the dragon before the dragon slays you). These negative thoughts can ruin years and years of hard work and if you think about it, it is something that YOU can control.
I always tell my athletes that there is no point worrying about the things we cannot control on game day. We focus on what we can control and we make the best of it. The way you think impacts performance. Go into competition prepared and ready to be the best you can be and walk out with zero regret.
You also get the other side of the spectrum where some athletes gets to psyched up and this results in a drop of performance. Your heart rate goes sky high, your hands start to sweat and you just feel weird all over and not yourself. The best way to get you back grounded and focused is to focus on your breathing. This could be the very thing that gets you in the zone. Do not always think it is about who can yell the loudest or slam their heads into walls. NO WAY! You have to get what works for you! Some athletes just gets really stressed out when it comes to competition setting, some athletes worry about failure, this will hurt your performance.
You have to believe you have the competition win or believe you have or will break that new record. Believing in your ability raises positivity and energy in the body which will get you motivated to do what your mind set out to do.
Best advice I can give you today is note how you feel on the day or in general stressful situations. Get yourself either psyched-up or psyched-down in order to perform at an optimal level, sometimes these scenarios might change and you have different reactions. That is why it is so important to make sure you know yourself well enough to make the call on what to do.
For more information on Sport Psychology email me at mona.ecx@gmail .com or follow my journey on Draak Weightlifting facebook page.