The Mental Game: Keys to quality practice

The Mental Game: Keys to quality practice

Mental Edge Performance

The Mental Game: Keys to quality practice

By is founded by Shayne McGowan, based on the concept of creating a superior standard of training for athletes on and off the field. McGowan is a certified mental game coaching professional. He has studied at Cal State University and has played football in college and briefly in the pros. He is a member of Coaches of Canada and NCCP certified, has 30 years fitness background as a trainer. He has done interviews on Fox Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, NFL Spin Zone, NFL Showtime, BlogTalkRadio and writes for Train fitness magazine.

Do you make mental mistakes in competition? If so, these mistakes may be a function of how you practice.

Mistakes in competition are not an indication of a lack of ability, talent, or conditioning. Most of the time, mental mistakes result from how you train, how you practice, or, more specifically, how you train your mind to compete. This mental preparation is key to reducing mental mistakes in competition.

Too many athletes go through the motions in practice. These athletes attend practice two hours a day for five days a week for a total of 10 hours of training. Although these athletes physically practice, they are not fully present mentally. Putting in the hours is different than making the hours count. These athletes may never miss a practice but certainly miss an opportunity.

The problem lies in how you are training your mind to react in competition.

When you are physically present in practice, your conditioning may improve and your technical skills may get better, but you never train your mind to be fully prepared to compete. If you are not training your mind to compete, then under the duress of competition you will make the same mental mistakes over and over again.

Minimizing mental mistakes starts with mental preparation and training your mind to compete.

Try this tip to train your mind to compete:

Have a practice plan. Ask yourself, “How can I practice to better compete?”

After you answer that question, identify practice goals and create competitive scenarios that allow you to train your mind to compete in that manner.

For example, having full focus, intensity, managing setbacks, and overcoming doubts should be part of your regular practice.

Practice in a way that will help you in competition. Don’t just go through the motions.


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