Self-Talk During a WOD

What goes through your mind during a workout? Is your mind blank or are there a million thoughts going through your head? Are they positive or negative? Are your thoughts helping you or hindering your performance?

It’s safe to say that most people know that the mind plays a huge factor in performance in sports. I truly believe in the importance of being aware of your thoughts during a workout. I read somewhere that your mental state and your physical performance are inseparable.

During a workout, I suggest to focus your mind on two different thought processes: positive encouragement and efficiency in movement.

Positive Encouragement:
When you are in the middle of an especially hard workout what are you telling yourself? Are you your worst enemy or your biggest cheerleader?

If you are repeating to yourself negative thoughts such as:
“I’m not good enough.”
“I’m weak.”
“I’m slow.”
“I can’t believe I have to do 50 burpees.”

I can guarantee you won’t be doing your best during the workout and you won’t be feeling so good about yourself either. You might even decide to quit in the middle of training.

But imagine if you were telling yourself thoughts like:
“I will do the best I can.”
“I love to challenge myself and see what I can do.”
“This is fun and I’m lucky to be here.”
“It’s only 5 sets of 10 burpees.”

Its during tough workouts that you have to try extra hard to not use negative words so that you can perform as best as you can. If you are faced with a movement you don’t like or a workout that scares you, accept it and tell yourself “this will make me better.” If you visualize yourself failing and are overanalyzing yourself negatively, you will probably not do as good in the workout as someone who visualizes success, lets go of negative thoughts and stays positive to keep moving.

Efficiency in Movement: 
Staying positive during a workout and cheering yourself to keep going is a great tool to use to help your performance. Another form of self-talk that is just as important as positive encouragement is being aware of your movement and doing the exercises correctly and efficiently.

During a workout, you should be using words such as:
“Chest up”
“Dip fast”
“Keep breathing”
“Up up up!”
“Knees out”

Be aware of what you are doing and use these words to help you keep moving but also to move better. If you notice yourself getting tired and not doing a movement correctly, break it down in your mind and give yourself some cues.

So if you put those two thought processes together, you would be using the power of your thoughts in a more beneficial way and in turn that will help you become a better athlete…
“Pull the bar faster, I am strong enough.”
“Catch your breath and keep going, I have done harder work before.”
“One more rep, I can do it.”

Here's a great quote to think about before your next workout: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t…you’re right.” Henry Ford

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