How to Become a Consistent Performer in Sports
Peak performance is the goal for all athletes, but the goal for elite athletes is to perform at their peak on a consistent basis.
It’s one thing to have a great game, play a solid round of golf, score a couple of goals in a game, run a personal best or nail a gymnastics routine… but if you want to be a top performing athlete, you want to learn how to perform with consistently.
Why do so many athletes lack consistency?
There are a few reasons why certain athletes are inconsistent:
- Inconsistent preparation – Inconsistent preparation leads to inconsistent performances. Some athletes merely stop doing the things that brought them success in the first place.
- Happy to be here – Some athletes just want to get to a certain level one time, like achieving a national cut, and are not interested in doing the work necessary to stay at that level.
- Lack of confidence – Some athletes believe that their top performance was a fluke and that they don’t have the ability to replicate that type of performance.
- Lack of mental toughness – Generally lack of mental toughness will lead to inconsistent performance.
If you want to be a consistent performer, you have to address all four challenges.
One of the best ways to learn what it takes to be consistent is to follow the example of athletes who perform consistently.
St. Louis Cardinal rookie shortstop Paul DeJong has made a huge splash at the Major League level.
In his first Major League at-bat in May, DeJong hit a home run. Since then, DeJong has been a consistent hitter, homering 21 times with 55 RBIs in 328 at-bats.
If you combined his 13 minor league homeruns this year with his Major League total, DeJon’s 34 combined homeruns would place him in the top-10 in homeruns in Major League Baseball.
DeJong credits his consistency to hard work, daily preparation and trust in his ability.
DeJONG: “I feel great [at the plate] right now, but it’s a constant battle. It’s not something I can just go out there and expect to do without preparation. Just trusting in what I do before the game and trusting my ability every day, and that’s going to get me where I need to go.”
You can gain several takeaways from DeJong’s statement:
- Consistent peak performance takes hard work.
- Consistent peak performance requires a high level of preparation.
- Consistent peak performance calls for you to believe in your ability to produce top results.
If you want to be an elite athlete, then the goal is to improve your consistency.
A Tip for Consistent Peak Performance:
When you set a goal, you select a target then identify the steps needed to achieve that objective.
Consistency is a matter of repeating those steps or repeating the process that helped you perform at your peak.
First, think back to times when you performed your best. Examine your preparation, work ethic, and mental preparation for those events.
Contrast when your best with those times that you performed poorly.
What have you done differently to help you perform your best?
Second, consistent mental and physical preparation leads to consistent performances.
Adopt pre-competition plans or routines that will instill consistent physical and mental preparation.
Finally, mental preparation includes having a game plan, visualizing yourself execute the game plan, being proactive with your confidence, and preparing to trust your skills.
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Do you get so tight or tense before competition that you cant think straight or have freedom of movement?
Do you become too tight to perform your best because you worry about embarrassing yourself or making mistakes in the game?
Do you have a physical warm up routine you follow, but do not pay attention to your mental preparation before competition?
Many athletes experience feelings of pregame anxiety and tension. Pregame anxiety is the number one obstacle to a relaxed and effortless performance – a quality that you must have to enter the zone!
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