|‘Sport does not build character. It reveals it.’
The increased stress of competitions can cause athletes to react both physically and mentally in a manner that can negatively affect their performance abilities. Athletes may become tense, their heart rates increase rapidly, they break into a cold sweat, they worry about the outcome of the competition, and they find it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. These symptoms have led coaches to explore different techniques of mental preparation and in particular dealing with the effects of competitive anxiety.The services on mental preparation at the FSSSI, focus on techniques that athletes can use in the competitive situation to maintain control and optimize their performance. Once mastered, these techniques allow the athlete to relax and to focus his/her attention in a positive manner on the task of preparing for and participating in competition. Sport Psychology is another weapon in the athlete’s armoury in gaining the winning edge.Mental preparation is a component of training that develops mental toughness. By introducing concrete mental strategies the following can be developed:
These specific mental strategies can also assist athletes in taking control of their mind to ensure they think, feel and do whatever it takes to produce peak performance. In short, mental preparation is just another part of training for high performance.