Children embracing after race

Apr 03, 2017 / Sports Medicine

Mental Preparation for Competition

Sports involve a balance of physical fitness, sport-specific skills, commitment and mental toughness. Athletes dedicate many hours of physical training to prepare for competition; however, many do not dedicate enough time to mental readiness.

To maximize performance on “game day,” try including these key elements in your mental preparation:

  • Positive attitude: Practice saying optimistic and encouraging things to yourself to boost confidence.
  • Plan and visualize: Imagine a play or visualize a successful shot to help improve performance.
  • Consider obstacles: To avoid getting distracted, take time to plan how you will handle and overcome potential challenges such as bad weather or schedule changes.
  • Game-day routine: Develop a preperformance routine to improve focus and help you stay on track every game day. A consistent preperformance routine boosts confidence and lets you know you are ready to go. For example, an athlete may prep for each game day by eating breakfast at a certain time, listening to music to relax during travel, visualizing their performance while standing on sideline before the game, etc.

For information about injury prevention and pediatric sports medicine, please visit our Sports Medicine page

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