As athletes, we continuously look for new ways to achieve peak performance. Sometimes we get frustrated because nothing seems to be working. One thing that we tend to overlook is our mindset, more specifically the performance mindset.
A performance mindset is a way of thinking that focuses on the process of achieving goals rather than the outcome. It's about being confident and determined in order to succeed. It's about fighting for what you want and not letting anything get in your way. It is the greatest key to success.
Be sure to keep reading to receive FREE templates that will help improve your mindset.
Why is it Important To Have a Performance Mindset?
There are many types of mindsets that can affect your performance. A performance mindset helps us push through our limitations and achieve more. It is what drives us forward and gives us the motivation to keep going. When we have a performance mindset, we are always striving for success.
The Science of How a Performance Mindset Affects Success
A performance mindset in sport is what will help you perform in high-pressure situations.
Let’s say you have a big meet or game coming up. Think about how you feel before it starts. Are you nervous? Probably. This is where the performance mindset kicks in. It gives you the ability to excel even when you are anxious.
According to an article written by Amanda Ferranti, you get two types of athletes. You find athletes who believe they were born talented and don't have to work hard, and you find athletes who think they can become talented through hard work (performance mindset). Which of these two mindsets do you think is more sustainable?
Most likely the second one. That is a great example of a performance mindset. Yes, most athletes are talented. Some more than others. However, talent will only take you so far. Having a performance mindset means having the strength to sacrifice short-term pleasure for long-term success.
When I was growing up, I was never the fastest swimmer in the pool. No matter what I did, there always seemed to be someone faster. I knew I was working harder than they were, but they still found a way to be better than me.
It wasn’t until I got older when I started inching closer and closer, until I eventually surpassed them. Why? They had the talent and wasn’t putting in the work. Stay with the course and stay patient!
See the info graphic below for some simple tips to achieve a high performance mindset. Feel free to save it and put it somewhere where you can see it every day.
How to stay focused & Improve your Performance Mindset
Sometimes it's hard to stay focused and maintain a positive attitude. Here are some tips that I used during my career that may work for you as well:
Create a list of goals
To get the maximum benefit out of his step, you need to know how to effectively set goals for yourself. I have put together 5 simple steps you can follow below:
Achieving this goal might take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the end. It might not happen overnight, but if you continue to follow these steps then you will succeed in the end!
Pro tip: You can use the Alpha Mindz Goal Setting Template to help you get started:
Make a list of accomplishments
It doesn’t matter how big or small your accomplishments may be, write it down. This will help keep you positive so you can remain on track. Often times, it’s the smallest accomplishment that make the biggest difference.
Make a list of all the things that distract you (or may distract you) on your journey to achieving your goal. The next step is to find a way to avoid or limit these distractions, so they won’t stand in the way of your goals.
Practice ways to relax and de-stress
I recently wrote an article discussing the 25 best ways to manage stress like a pro. Every day, we are put into high-stress situations. The better you can manage your stress in these situations, the better you will perform.
Give yourself an HONEST rating when you finish practice
This step can help you stay on track. It is important to evaluate ourselves to remind us where we need to be better. I used this strategy for about 4 years. It held me accountable for each and every practice.
Keeping record of everything you do helps keep you focused and opens up your eyes to a whole new world of limitless expectations.
Pro tip: You can use the Alpha Mindz Weekly Grading template below to help you get started:
I would love to hear from you if you have tried any of these tips or if you have something else to add!
Rudo Loock is a former elite swimmer from South Africa. His journey to America started at Florida State University, where he studied and competed.
He learned valuable mental strategies during a difficult time in his career after battling a major injury. Following that, he had one of the best swimming years of his career.
Alpha Mindz is a community he created to help struggling athletes overcome the many obstacles they face everyday.