Psychological preparation for competitions: 6 useful tips

The girl is preparing for training

Spring is the opening season for competitions in many sport disciplines. There comes a time of fierce struggle for first places, gold medals and success in a sports career. Competitions are a serious challenge for athletes and their psyche. Therefore, many people often ask themselves the question: “How to prepare for a competition?”

What you need to remember about preparing for a competition?

First, you need to remember that it’s impossible to prepare for competitions in a few days, especially if you have never practiced the mind training. Only systematic exercises can bring the expected effect. Psychological training, that started a few days before an important competition, will never give such good results as regular work on preparing for a competition.

The end of the sports season isn’t also the best time to start training. You just may not have enough time to thoroughly prepare for the competition. That is why you train throughout the season to be properly prepared at the most important moment.

Important matches and poor preparation

All season you have been waiting for upcoming matches. To do this, you decided to prepare for the competition, constantly thinking about your goal. It seems to you that now you are in full combat readiness and you are ready to apply all your skills and knowledge. However, when it seems that well, then suddenly your level of physical fitness decreases, and morale falls.

Why it happens?

Firstly, this situation arises due to fatigue. You have already passed X meetings, Y kilometers and Z competitions. This is a huge load for your body when you make it work at high speed week after week. It becomes increasingly difficult for you to meet ever higher requirements. You may also be injured, but continue to train and hurt yourself. Therefore, always remember to rest and recover when it’s possible.

Secondly, the pressure is increasing. One loss can decide what happens next – whether the team/player will reach the goal or will accept the defeat as a sentence. These two factors worsen the mood when it should be the best in order to qualitatively prepare for the competition.

Athlete lost due to insufficient preparation for running the competition

Why can’t a sportsman well prepare for a competition?

Result first

The result is the most important indicator for an athlete. In sports, it’s always important, but at the end of the season everything else (for example, training goals) goes to the background. Everything focuses on the result – players, coaches, employees, activists and supporters. Only this can become a dangerous trap because of focusing only on the result.

By focusing on the result, you don’t see what happens between the beginning of the game and its end. And exactly what happens there will determine what result you will eventually achieve.

Such a mistake often causes nervousness, stress, irritability and other negative emotions. The more you experience them, the less you will be able to prepare for the competition and get the most positive result.

athletes celebrate their victory, hoisting the Cup

High expectations

If lately you often say to yourself: “I have to do this, I must, I would be better, I must necessarily – this additionally strengthens my expectations and hopes”. Focusing on expectations and what you “need” creates additional pressure, nervousness and tension.

Too much thought

We treat thinking as something positive. That’s because of the great importance of it in our society. Anyway, how many times we hear “you don’t think at all; think before you do something.”

Unless we are talking about preparing for an important game. Then thinking can interfere. It makes you strain too much and make a lot of extra effort. Not that the extra effort was bad, but it’s not very effective. If you decide to prepare for the competition in this way, then be prepared for bad consequences.

What to do?

Remember your best performance. How much did you think at such moments and how long were you in a state of flow? Thinking that you are breaking your automatic movements, habits or something that has given you an advantage up to now. Think less – let yourself be carried away by the game, dive into it.

Think about how you would like to feel physically before a competition (for example, healthy, strong, full of energy) and mentally (focused, motivated, happy, relaxed). This is the state you want to recreate before the most important duel.

the athlete sits in the gym and thinks about his training

What to do to prepare for a competition?

1.Be like a child

In professional sports, it’s easy to forget how a sports career began. In many cases, its beginning was associated with the children’s joy of playing the game itself. Remind yourself that you enjoyed being a child in this discipline, and try to recreate this experience now. Select from the competition the same joy that you experienced as a child.

cats play sports

2.You have nothing to lose

It’s with this attitude that one must approach competition. As if this result does not solve anything (if you look at it from a very broad point of view, it really can be that way). If you feel that the struggle continues to death and life, then the pressure can become so strong that it will not allow you to show your good side. You play best when you get rid of expectations, anxiety, or pressure and only think about what you need to do. As if you turned off your mind and allowed your body to fully control what is happening. And he knows what to do! To prepare well for the competition try to relate to the upcoming game easier.

3.Don’t think about the consequences

Fear of the consequences of some games can greatly affect the decisions taken on the field. In the most important matches, there is no place for concern about the consequences – the one who does not risk, does not drink champagne.

4.Be prepared

Do everything so that you can say before the game: “I am the most prepared”. Preparing well for competitions does not always mean “victory”. Even if you do not take first place, then you will understand that you did everything for the sake of this competition. It will help you with easy relation to stressful situations at sports events. You will be able to more efficiently relate to your sports performance and future workouts.

5.Flow statusto prepare for the competition you need to enter the state of flow. in this case, it is an activity on the treadmill

When you decide to prepare for the competition, then try to learn how to enter the state of flow. This will help you concentrate on the process and your goal. In addition, you will stop experiencing great excitement and will be easier to treat defeats.

6.Don’t regret it

Even if you end up with a failure, don’t think about it. Make an analysis, note that you need to improve, but do not allow yourself to fall into a vicious circle of offenses. If you prepare for the competitions as best you can, and during sporting events you will do your best at 100%, then you will not have to worry too much about failure or stressful situations.

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