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Exercising Your Mental Muscles

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my 6 years of CrossFit, it’s that mindset does absolutely matter. This is something I’ve greatly struggled with, but strive to improve with every workout. Whether it’s wanting to give up during a hard workout, getting upset when you miss a lift, or leaving the gym feeling frustrated because the progress isn’t flowing as you would hope; it’s important to train your mind to snap out of those emotions and instead feel confident, positive, and eager to keep growing as an athlete.

While browsing through Instagram, I found this little piece written by Jim Taylor Ph.D. titled 5 Mental Muscles for Athletic Success. I’ve kept this saved on my phone and read it quite often to help me strengthen my mental game! I wanted to share so you all could begin, or continue to start training your mind and become a better athlete not only physically, but mentally too.

The 5 Mental Muscles for Athletic Success 

  • Motivation is not how committed you say you are, but whether you are actually doing what is necessary to accomplish your goals.
  • Confidence is how strongly you believe in your ability to perform your best and achieve your competitive and long-term goals.
  • Intensity is the level of physiological activity you feel in your body including heart rate, respiration, blood flow, and adrenaline
  • Focus involves paying attention to things that will help you perform your best (e.g., technique, tactics, effort) and avoiding distractions that interfere with your performing well (e.g., results, other athletes, an upcoming stressor).
  • Mindset is what is going through your mind in the 30 seconds before you begin a workout.

After your next workout, do a check of your 5 mental muscles. Did some perform stronger than others? Did any hold back? What can you focus and improve next time? The voice that matter the most to your success is right in between your own two ears – make sure it is on your side and helping you achieve success, rather than tearing you down and deterring you from your goals.

-Coach Mary