Training your mind to think positively can take time and Dr Josephine Perry gives tips on how to do it
Banishing negative thoughts won’t just help you feel more comfortable and confident when competing but can also improve your performance.
A simple technique is to develop your own mantra.
To work well a mantra must be personal to you and your goals. If you need to instruct yourself in a technique or characteristic that helps you perform better, then your mantra may be something like ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’ or ‘lift legs’.
If you need to remind yourself of your motivation, you may use something like ‘earn that medal’ or ‘I don’t do DNFs’.
If you have a really personal reason for competing that can also give you a brilliant mantra.
Here are another five ways to try stop negative thoughts:
1. When you finish training write down the negative thoughts you had and think about how you could reframe each one.
2. Mentally practice reframing each negative thought in your next few sessions until it feels more natural.
3. Consider if you respond better to motivation or instruction when you create your own mantra.
4. Make your mantra short and specific, use present tense, make it positive, say it with meaning and repeat it often.
5. Think deeply about why you compete, write it down and, when negative thoughts fill your head, read that note back to yourself.
» Dr Josephine Perry is a sports psychologist at performanceinmind.co.uk