Improve Your Consistency and Performance
The hallmarks of success are peak performance and consistency.
While any athletes can have a great game once in a while, it’s performing at your peak on a consistent basis that most athletes struggle with achieving.
Being consistent is a hot topic for athletes who we’ve talked to over the years. One high school athlete asked for help with being consistent throughout the season:
“How can I be more consistent in games? My performance goes up and down, not just from game to game but also play to play. It is frustrating because I know I have the ability but I just can’t put it together consistently.”
One frustrating component to inconsistency is that you never know which athlete is going to show up–the athlete in the zone or the inconsistent athlete.
Some games you feel excited, confident and ready to go and have a great game. Other days, you feel unsure or tired. Pregame warm up feels uneasy and anxious. When the game begins, you make one mistake and your game spirals downward.
How you define consistency is important. If you define consistency in unrealistic terms then consistency will feel elusive.
Some misconceptions about consistency include:
*Consistency means perfection. “I can’t make any turnovers.”
*Consistency means performing top of your game every game. “I must have my ‘A’ game, every game.”
*Consistency means matching your best statistic every game. “I should score 15 points in the game.”
Outcomes are not the best judge of performance all the time. The true measure of consistency is how you played in terms of intensity, confidence, and focus.
Keep in mind that your opponents have a lot to do with how consistent you might play. Sometimes you can have a good game personally, but that day your opponent was better than you.
What is Consistency?
Consistency is about taking your practice skills to games and performing like you know you can. But that doesn’t mean you will perform at your peak or have a personal best.
Consistency is the ability to perform with confidence, trust, and composure. Without these mental skills, you can’t be consistent.
Consistency is also about being able to perform well when you don’t have your “A” game. Sometimes you might not feel great in the warm up or at the start of the game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a decent performance.
How to Improve Consistency:
Define consistency in terms that make sense for you personally. What would consistency look like for you? How will you objectively evaluate your performance according to your definition of consistency?
We know that consistent mental and physical preparation leads to consistent performance. How will you prepare consistently?
Consistency starts well before game-time. You have to prepare your body and mind using your pregame nutrition, hydration, and warm up routine…
Intensity is important too. Think about the level of intensity that you need to perform well. Do you need to feel pumped up or do you need to relax and stay calm? You control your level of consistency.
What about your level of confidence? Do you play your best when you go into each game with confidence? You can control your confidence too. You want to enter each game with focus, confidence, trust, and composure.
Bring the right level of focus is also important. You can’t be consistent if you are distracted or engage in over thinking. Make sure you focus on the important performance cues when you start competition.
Related Sports Psychology Articles
- The Importance of Mental Toughness
- How Athletes Deal with Stress
- How to Overcome the Fear of Negative Outcomes
Download a free sports psychology report to improve your mental game!
Concentration and the ability to focus under adversity is what championship athletes do best.
It only takes one distraction to enter your mind for you to lose a critical point, miss a putt, or lose a second off your lap time. You cannot afford to let distractions run wild in your mind and cause you to make errors at critical times in the game!
The Focused Athlete” audio and workbook program helps you or your athletes overcome distractions and sharpen concentration during competition. You learn how to get locked in during practice and competition so you can improve and perform better.