If preparation and planning are the keys to success, what should an athlete do if something interrupts their plan?
You have trained as hard as you could for months and months preparing for some big competition. You have your strategy … You feel ready and confident … Then, something unexpected occurs.
Maybe you arrive late because of traffic.
Or you forgot a piece of equipment.
It may feel like all the hard work is going down the tubes in a flash at the most critical moment of your season. You should not only physically prepare for that important competition, but include mental preparation before you compete. Think about the potential speed bumps that could occur on competition day. Ask yourself, “Are any of these obstacles that are insurmountable?” Determine how you will respond if you encounter a speed bump.
No question you won’t be able to predict every potential obstacle, but this strategy creates the mindset that you can handle most of those little nuisances that you may experience. Mental toughness is that “nothing will deter me from performing my best” mentality. Mental toughness keeps you focused on going forward with your plan.
Instead of looking for excuses, mental toughness focuses on what you need to do at this moment. If you are waiting for the perfect situation, you will never perform optimally. There will always be speed bumps and potholes on the road to success. The key is to not turn obstacles into stop signs.
Mental toughness helps you maneuver and navigate around those little bumps, remain focused on your objective, and trust your ability to perform optimally despite the circumstances.