Mental Skills Monday – An Introduction



Hello all, so happy to have you here today!

Today I am bringing you a new series called Mental Skills Monday. Every other week, I will introduce to you a new mental skill that you may find beneficial in overcoming possible road blocks you have in your running! Each skill will build upon the previous, so at the end of the series you will have many mental skills in your toolbox to utilize.

We will begin with an introduction to mental skills and a reflection piece to help you solidify yourself in the sport of running.

Warm Up!

I would like you to take a minute and think about your warm-up. Imagine the way your body moves; the stretching of your muscles, the releasing of tension in your ligaments, and the overall looseness of your body, as prepares for competition or training. Comparable to your body, your mind also needs to loosen up. It needs to be focused, aroused, confident, and warm with positive thoughts. Mental skills loosen your mind. They release your negative thoughts to engage your concentration on your sport.

What are mental skills you ask? Well, it depends on whom you ask. Each sport psychology consultant and athlete find mental skills that works for their unique situation. Although this is the case, we can generally define mental skills as psychological interventions used create the ideal mental environment to enable an athlete to perform at their best. There are a variety of different mental skills that one can use in performance, but also, in life. Some of these include: performance profiling, goal setting, self-talk, confidence building, and arousal regulation. Each of the aforementioned mental skills will be a part of this series. In our work together, we will visit and spend time with each of the techniques.

I would like to invite you to use Mental Skills Monday as a way to warm-up and loosen your mind. Remember, this is for you. Therefore, any mental techniques or exercises that you are not fond can always change to suite your needs. If you’re ready, let’s get started!

Why Do You Run? 

Reflection is an essential part of life. We learn from taking time to ponder about  past situations and figuring what we can do better or differently to enhance our wellbeing. The same can be said for the sport of running.  Take some time to answer the following questions as truthfully as possibly:

1). I run because….

2). The best thing that happened to me while running…

3). The most rewarding part of running is…

I encourage you to keep the answers to these three questions in mind as you head out for training or even in your daily life. These can also be adapted for statements of life too. For example, “I read because…” or “The best thing that happened to me today was…”.   I find it helpful to keep a journal where I can revert back to these as a means of comfort and strength when the going gets tough. Finding your true passion in running and life is never easy, but it can certainly be rewarding.

Please let me know if you would like any mental skills to be included in this series! I would love to hear from you all about what I can do to help you achieve success in your sports and lives.

Have a happy Monday!

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