The Importance of Setting Mental Goals
Getting to the next level requires that you do something different.
I’m certain you’ve heard the saying, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.”
The same is true for sports. Genetics and talent alone can take you only so far. You have to set mental goals to perform at the next level.
For some athletes, success comes quite easily in the beginning. These athletes may be naturally stronger, faster, taller or bigger.
The problem with early success for some athletes is that they didn’t need to work as hard for that success. When these athletes get to the next level, it becomes very hard to adjust, match previous standards or rise to the level of their new competition.
As you climb higher in your sport, the gap between ability narrows.
If you are not mentally prepared, getting to successively higher levels may feel impossible, leaving you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Seeking next level performance is what collegiate football player Calvin Avery is trying to figure out. Avery is a sophomore defensive tackle at the University of Illinois and was highly recruited by many college programs. Avery was a large-bodied high school star athlete who relied on his size to dominant games.
Now, in the college game, where big, strong athletes are common, Avery needs to find a way to separate himself from the pack… a task that has not come easily for Avery. This next-level performance requires just as much mental effort as it does physical effort.
AVERY: “Coming out of high school it was harder for me. I was like, ‘Wow, I’m really not in [the starting lineup]. I’m not starting.’ In high school, I was the dominant player. They weren’t really trippin’ about [weight and conditioning]. I was getting to the ball, making plays and they didn’t think it was a factor. Now since I’m at a higher level, people are faster, things might be slower to me so they think it’s a factor towards it.”
Avery was told by the Illinois staff that he needed to lose some weight, improve his conditioning, work on his consistency and improve his work ethic.
While these aspects of performance are physical in nature, they require a great deal of mental goals and focus to achieve.
Illinois coach Lovie Smith talked about the stark realization it has been for Avery to be a strong contributor at the collegiate level.
SMITH: “There are some things [Avery] needs to do, and until he takes care of those things he cannot take the next step. It’s as simple as that.”
Next level performance requires something different. This does not always mean more intense training, more time on the practice field or more reps in the weight room.
Sometimes, the “something different” can be an improvement in your mental game. Mental training provide a tremendous bang for your buck.
In fact, mental training enhances all areas of performance including physical training, practices and games.
If you are not working to master your mental game, next-level performance will be practically impossible.
Set some mental goals. Each week, set one mental goal for your practice and training sessions. This goal can be pushing harder, persisting when you are tired or staying focused for longer periods of time.
Improving your mental game requires that you focus well, have stable confidence, trust in your skills you learn from practice, and work to stay composed or let go of mistakes.
Improve Concentration in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who is frequently distracted, loses focus in competition, or wants to learn more about how to focus better under pressure, The Focused Athlete is for you!
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 is a complete system to teach you how to focus like a champion and harness the power of a zone focus every tie you step on the playing field, court, track or course in practice and games!
This workbook and CD program consists of 2 audio CDs that include 14 days of focus boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal focus challenges.
- How to quickly identify distractions that sabotage your concentration and how to quickly refocus after distractions.
- How to use pre-shot routines before shots or serves to help you be more task-focused instead of worrying about results.
- How to use pregame routines to help you harness the power of zone concentration before competition.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
What are customers saying about our mental game programs?
“As a result of reading and implementing ‘The Confident Athlete Series,’ I am once again enjoying golf and letting bad shots roll off my shoulders and appreciating my good shots without attaching expectations. Thanks Dr. Cohn!”
~Stu Blasius, P.G.A. Golf Professional
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent