How to Prepare Mentally for Competitions
With lots of competitions coming up, and many of you competing for the first time, we thought we'd share some of the lessons we've learned about competition mindset over the years.
Whatever level you're competing at, there are always mental battles to overcome. Here's how to deal with them.
Anticipate Your Challenges
The first step to overcome any mental barriers is to figure out what they are. It seems like common sense, doesn't it? Yet it's surprising how many people don't take the time to understand how their mind works.
Can you think of any times your mindset has let you down in the box? This could give you a clue. When do you experience the biggest mental blocks?
Create a Success Mindset
If you lose your head every time you attempt a new PR, it's a sign you've yet to master the success mindset. The work it takes to create a winning mindset is just as important as the time you spend building a strong squat.
Treat it like any other part of your competition prep. Find time for it, and commit to it. Train your weaknesses, and they won't let you down when it comes to the event weekend.
To create a success mindset, most people need to ditch their fear of failure. When you focus on the fear (e.g. the fear of coming last), you're already telling yourself you can't do it.
Get Clear on Your Goals
Why have you entered the competition? Are you challenging for a place on the podium, striving to better yourself, or something else entirely?
Whatever your reason, make sure it's crystal clear in your mind. When you know exactly what you want to achieve, it's easier to focus on making it a reality.
For example, if you've entered to challenge yourself away from your normal environment, and you're not challenging for a spot on the podium, you don't have to be better than everyone else to be successful.
Once you know exactly what you want to achieve, visualise it becoming a reality. What does success look like? How does it feel?
Embrace the Unknown
This sport is all about the unknown, and the unknowable. When you go to the same box, day in/day out, you know what's going to go down when you get there.
You'll probably have a good idea what the WOD's going to be, what the format of the class will look like, and who you'll be up against. You'll know where you stand, and what you're capable of.
Competitions are full of unknowns - and this is one of the reasons we recommend everyone competes at least once. Think about it: what's the worst that can happen?
The lack of certainty is supposed to challenge you. It's a good thing - and it will help you grow. So, instead of fearing it, learn how to embrace it.
Ditch Your Limiting Beliefs
The biggest thing holding you back mentally are your limiting beliefs. Everyone has them, and you need to overcome them before you hit that competition floor.
Limiting beliefs are the negative thoughts you have about your abilities. They often sound something like:
"I wish I could do that, but...."
"I'm not.... enough to...."
"I shouldn't.... because...."
What limiting beliefs are holding you back? Once you've found out what they are, make an effort to challenge them whenever you catch the negative self-talk. What can you do to prove them wrong?
Do you have a competition coming up soon? How will you be preparing your mindset?
If you're looking for one to enter, make sure you check out the Form Fitness Series. These are old school events, taking us back to the traditional box competitions. Spots are selling fast, so get in there before you miss out!