by Patrick Carr, Next Level Performance Coach
CSCS, USAPL Coach, Precision Nutrition Coach
Do you ever feel like you are having a terrible training day? Wonder why you bother to get out of bed just to sweat and hurt? Do you find yourself skipping days, or not giving it your all during the workout? The saying, “The hard part is getting here, we do the rest” applies to the idea of mindset. Training for a sport requires just as much mental effort as physical effort, and there is a unique mindset that true athletes possess, and once you have it, it can be applied to all facets of sport, fitness and even life.
Here are three aspects of a training mindset (the established set of attitudes held by someone) that will allow you to become successful:
Purpose: Athletes that train know why they are doing what they do and the PURPOSE that it serves. In fact, everything they do serves the purpose of getting them one step closer to reaching their goal. If you know your training purpose, you will not only be more invested but will quickly be able to prioritize actions in order to achieve your goal. Why would you want to spend time and energy doing those things that take away from what is most important to you and could stall progress? Every action counts. Every action requires purpose.
Mindfulness: If you train with purpose, you more than likely have a heightened awareness of self, both physically and mentally. Positive and negative thoughts have a direct impact on success and achievement of your goals, making how we engage our thoughts an extremely valuable tool. Everyone has negative and positive thought patterns and self-talk, but those who are mindful of these can capitalize on the ones that are positive reinforcements and reconstruct those that are potentially harmful. Mindfulness is a skill by itself that takes practice, but when improved upon can have a tremendous impact on your performance in training.
Consistency: This is the key characteristic that sets individuals with a purposeful training mindset apart from those without. If we are discussing physical performance in sport, improving body composition, or any other training-related outcome, then the only way to improve and reach that goal is to be consistent!! People will throw in the towel and say “this doesn’t work” without realizing that it is the habit of being inconsistent that leads to failure. Only with long term commitment can progress be tracked. Consistently train. Consistently eat the right things. Consistently get enough sleep. Consistently improve.
People will have different goals, desires, and ideas of what it means to be successful, but we all should practice these three components of a training mindset. Without the highest quality training mindset, we are only going through the motions. Having the mindset to train is having the mindset to succeed.