Thursday, February 9, 2017

Are you mentally tough!

As I write this article I am digesting the amazing Patriots comeback in the Super Bowl.  From an athletic and performance stand point it was one of the greatest performances ever.  Not just Tom Brady, but the entire team.  This team has shown incredible focus and mental toughness on the field.  Here are some tips or exercises for improving focus and mental toughness.
Visualization: perform the event before the actual event.  If you are about to attempt a PR (personal record) deadlift, step back and go through the steps of doing the lift, and see yourself successfully performing the lift.  In some cases, your body will feel as though it has already completed the event.
Meditation: like visualization, but you will be attempting to clear the mind of extraneous thoughts to mentally prepare you for the upcoming event. 
Breathwork: Having a strong breathing practice will help all focus and mental toughness work.  Strong breathwork will assist your visualization and meditation practice and help control your heartrate during times of exertion. 
Experience Discomfort:  the legendary coach John Wooden always wanted to make practice so difficult and physically challenging that games would be easy.  It could be as simple as running a little faster and longer than your race pace/distance, run hard sprints, take shorted rest interval during workouts.  Or one of my favorites, cold water.  Ice baths are a great way to enjoy discomfort.  Since most cannot regularly utilize ice baths, try using cold water in the shower, try twenty seconds of cold, followed by 10 seconds of hot for five to ten cycles. 
Give some of these a try, they won’t make a navy seal but may help you handle everyday life a little better.  

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