Having a strong mind is usually the difference between winning and losing. In Andre Agassi’s book ‘Open‘ he tells the story of what he was thinking and feeling when he won each of his 8 grand slams. Despite his body aching from years of tennis during each tournament, it was his thoughts that mattered most when playing.
Developing your mind muscle is just like building any other muscle. It’s repeated, consistent practice. It’s just like a swimmer who goes to the gym three times a week and lifts weights will increase their strength (if done with correct technique, reps and weights). A swimmer who visualises their main race three times a week will increase confidence, improve muscle memory and stretch their belief system of what is possible for them.
I recently asked World Championship swimmer Sam Ashby how much of swimming is physical and how much is mental. His answer: 60% mental. 40% physical.
Your ability to control your thoughts determines:
- Effort levels in training
- How many training sessions you attend
- Your speed and pacing in a race
- Ability to improve on personal best times
I interviewed sports mindset coach Stephan Ladd from the Renegade Mindset system and asked him what the some of the best techniques for working on mindset are. These are three things which can be implemented into a training program to improve mental toughness and get an important edge over your competitors.
- Race visualisation
- Set Anchors
Choose your main race for the season and your target time. Find a quiet place where you can lie down. Close your eyes and run through the race in your head. From walking out behind the blocks to hitting the wall at the finish. Once you get really good, you’ll find that the race takes the same time in visualisation and when your race in real life.
This is the most ‘out there’ of the three ways to grow your mind muscle. It works to the extent that you allow it to work (eg. if you think it’s B.S it won’t work). In Stephen’s mindset program he has 5 audio’s that are designed to restructure your thinking to make you a better triathlete. Similar to visualisation, find a quiet place to lie down and close your eyes and listen to the audio’s. It can be effective for the right person.
Anchors are things you can intentionally do to trigger a response. Just like the smell of McDonalds triggers most people to salivate, you can use a word, sound, smell, or action to trigger a feeling or confidence or readiness to race.
Stephen Ladd goes into more detail in his Renegade Triathlon program with audios that makes mindset training easy. I have been through the program and would recommend it for triathletes who have competed before and would benefit by having a stronger mindset in training and racing.
Bonus For The Renegade Triathlon Program
I recently interviewed Sam Ashby (World Championship swimmer) and asked him dozens of the 82 questions submitted by Effortless Swimming members. It covers mindset, diet, training, technique, recovery, competition and much more. This interview goes for 64 minutes. To get this interview simply buy Stephen’s Triathlon mindset training program and send your receipt details to me by submitting a ticket at our help desk here: www.EffortlessSupport.com