Coming Back Strong After a Layoff
Layoffs due to injury, sickness, suspension, being benched or even taking a mental break from playing is a difficult task for most athletes.
But returning to action after a layoff can be even more daunting…
When you return to competition, your mind is cluttered with fear and doubts:
- “Will I return to the starting lineup?”
- “What if I get injured again?”
- “Do I have the stamina to compete?”
- “What if my technique falls apart?”
- “What if I stink?”
- “What will my coach think?”
- “What will my parents say?”
- “How will my teammates react?”
Think back to your mindset after a layoff…
Did you feel any anxiety? Did you worry about the level of your performance after you return to practice?
How can you return to play with some degree of confidence so that you don’t have doubts and worries during your first few competitions?
Returning to competition takes a positive and patient mindset.
How can you foster a confident and patient mindset after a layoff?
First, set reasonable small goals for your first few competitions. Instead of expecting an MVP performance, a more reasonable approach is, “I will give it all I got and see what happens.”
This approach keeps you grounded in the present moment instead of solely focusing on the possible results or how you might play.
- Talk to your coach about his expectations to determine a timeline for your return.
- Next, prepare yourself physically, the best you can, to meet the demands of your return. You need to temper your training to reduce the risk of injury.
- Focus on building your stamina and building your technique so you have some assurance that you can do well in those early competitions.
- Prepare yourself mentally. Learn relaxation strategies to reduce the anxiety you might experience as that first competition draws near.
- Focus on what you can control. You won’t be able to control playing time, how good your opponents will be or the reactions of your parents and teammates.
- Finally, use that first competition as a measuring stick for where you currently are and what you need to do to get your game back to a high level.
No need to fret that you are not 100% there yet but know that, if you do the work, you can once again compete a high level.
Tennis player Maria Sharapova recently returned to competition after serving a lengthy suspension.
Sharapova’s mindset as she returned to competitive tennis was to be in the moment and not worry about the results of her first tournament back. Despite a loss in the semifinals, Sharapova’s tone was one of patience and positivity.
SHARAPOVA: “The way I played, I was really happy with that. You are never sure what level you are going to come onto the court with, but I feel this is a great base with which I started here.”
Choose a patient approach to returning to competition. Set small goals for your return.
Tips to Mentally Prepare For Your Return to Competition:
Talk to your coach and identify three small goals for your first competition after your layoff.
These goals could be:
- Getting back in the flow of competition
- Starting to regain your stamina
- Having composure after mistakes
- Gaining a baseline for where you currently are, etc.
After your competition, talk to your coach and evaluate your performance against those three objectives.
Learn Mental Game Strategies to Boost Your Confidence in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who struggles with self-doubt, loses confidence, or cant take “practice confidence” to competition, The Confident Athlete is for you!
Self-confidence is what separates champion athletes from the rest of the competitors…
You can tap into my knowledge and experience to learn how to bring ultimate confidence to competition!
The Confident Athlete CD and workbook program consists of 2 audio CD’s that include 14 days of confidence fueling exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies and customizes the exercises to your personal needs.
Remember, confidence is a choice you make. You have to make a conscious effort to proactively seek confidence building thoughts and behaviors. Confident Athletes are proactive when it comes to confidence!
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
Take control of your mindset and performance today!
What are mental game customers saying about our confidence boosting program?
“I first purchased The Confident Athlete to see how the program went and immediately saw results. I then purchased the rest of the confident athlete series and have noticed a dramatic improvement in my level of play or should I say consistency. I currently play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Lamar University, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game. My attitude and confidence at the plate.”
(Listen to his success story)
“I bought The Confident Athlete and I have to tell you it is one of the best investments I’ve ever made in sports (and I’ve made quite a lot!)” I am a top amateur racquetball player. I have multiple state and regional titles, and 2 national titles. Your approach and ideas have snapped me out of a slump that has lasted way too long. The sport is fun again and I am playing like my old self for the first time in a long time!”
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
If you’re a top performer during practice but find yourself under-performing in competition, the most likely culprit holding you back is your mental game.
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with one-on-one personal mental game coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
What are our mental game coaching students, parents and coaches saying?
“Both of the last 2 weekends, Nicolas had high-pressure basketball tournaments where he really showed improvement and maturity! He reacted very calmly to missed shots and mistakes and was very poised in the very close finals game. We have never seen him so composed and locked-in on the issue at hand! He has also realized that and tells us that he feels more calm and confident than before.”
~Alex Mylonas, Nicolas’ father
“Mental coaching has helped me immensely. It has taught me what to focus on in and out of the racecar… How to stay calm and focused have been the key skills that I have learned, which are important to becoming a better and more confident racecar driver.”*
~AJ Allmendinger, NASCAR Driver
Download Our FREE Mental Toughness Report!
Download your FREE Mental Toughness Report and discover if you are making one or more of theses ‘costly’ mental game mistakes before competition.
- Discover if those pregame jitters are positive or negative.
- Learn the important pregame mental skills to perform your best.
- Learn how your mental game might sabotage your success in sports.
- Identify mistakes in your per-competition mental preparation.
Download The Mental Toughness Report Today!
You will also receive regular updates of more mental toughness tips to boost your performance in sports!
What are mental coaching students, parents and coaches saying about our resources?
“I am a sports psychologist in Dallas. I’ve read your two e-books and find them quite good. I commend you on the quality of your eBook. It is very readable and helpful.”
~Michael Wolf, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist
“I have really enjoyed reading your tennis report. I just found your web site and I already have improved in my mental game. This past weekend I played with the amount of confidence I should have in myself.”
~Melanie Lewis, Junior Tennis Player
“I thought the eBook on Focus was fantastic! I train young athletes on a regular basis and your material helps to train the mind as well as exercise trains the body.”