I don’t remember where I heard about the book ‘Mind Gym‘ but it is a winner and a book that definitely helped me with my mental strength. I wanted to start off with a list of my favorite quotes from the book (the bold ones are my absolute favorite).
“You have to train your mind like you train your body.” -Bruce Jenner (show me some Kardashian love).
“The mind messes up more shots than the body.” -Tommy Bout
“The most important part of a player’s body is above his shoulders.” -Ty Cobb
“Competitive toughness is an acquired skill and not an inherited gift.” -Chris Evert
“This ability to conquer oneself is no doubt the most precious of all things sports bestows on us.” -Olga Korbut
“Build your weaknesses until they become your strengths.” -Knute Rockne
“The harder you work the harder it is to surrender.” -Vince Lombardi
“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” -Jim Lefebvre
“You can’t outperform your self-image.” -Dennis Connor.
“I firmly believe that the only disability in life is a bad attitude.” -Scott Hamilton
“A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.” -Payne Stewart.
“Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.” -John Wooden.
“You have to learn to get comfortable with Being uncomfortable.” -Lou Piniella
PS it is really fun when your blow dryer breaks and you have to dry your hair under a hand dryer in the locker room. I guess that is what you get when you buy the $7.99 blow dryer at Walmart and drop it at least 88 times.
I really think that the runner’s high amazing feeling is more than just a bunch of endorphins streaming through your veins. I think a large part of that incredible feeling has to do with overcoming our mental barriers. We accomplish a run, race, challenge that we didn’t think we could do and that results in joy, confidence and a feeling of VICTORY.
Our minds hold us back so much. I think that the greatest athletes out there don’t use the words I CAN’T (at least not very often). How many times have you had a run where you start thinking negatively and listened to those thoughts only to be disappointed at the end when you KNOW you could have given more. One of my favorite feelings ever is when I know I gave it all that I had.
Our bodies are wired to have our minds give up before our bodies do. It is made that way so that we don’t run so long and so fast that it does actually kills us, the mind sends us warning signs to slow down or stop LONG before our bodies come close to reaching fatigue. (I know I am probably wrong with all of this but it is what I tell myself and it seems to work for me). Basically, our bodies are so much stronger and can do so much more than our minds want us to. So….that means we can train ourselves to tell our minds to be quiet for a little while and PUSH IT. This is where the MIND GYM comes in and we work on our mental strength just as much as we work on our physical strength.
We are so much stronger than we think we are.
What we think will happen is more likely to happen.
It is up to you to make the decision whether or not you have a good race, you set that pr or place in your division, as long as you have put in the right amount of work and you are not injured/stopping for the potty every second, it is all up to your mind to get you to that finish line when YOU believe you can do that.
If you think poorly of your running abilities and of yourself you will never be able to outrun those things. Change your view of yourself and how incredible of a runner you are and you will achieve more than you thought possible.
Tips to help your mental game:
1. Visualize….the night before a race picture yourself reaching your goals, feel it, believe it.
2. Fake it to make it…..fake you mental strength until it becomes you!
3. Focus on the TASK at hand when negative thoughts try to creep in.
4. Progress not perfection, celebrate the little victories. When you focus on being perfect you realize it is unattainable and then you give up.
5. Come up with a power word to distract yourself. Repeat it over and over again.
6. Set dreams and goals. If you don’t know where you wanna go, you will probably end up somewhere you don’t want to be.
7. Rather than saying to yourself what you DON’T want to happen FOCUS on what you DO want to happen. i.e. “I am worried I am going to slow down at mile 19″ ”I am going to get to the water station at mile 20 in X:XX and keep my pace.”
Remember…”If there is doubt in your mind…how can your muscles know what they are expected to do?” -Harvey Pennick
If you haven’t already seen this yet, PLEASE check out the virtual run that SUAR is doing for Sherry Arnold on February 11th. Click HERE!!
I have already typed more words than I ever have in my life so….tell me what you think about all of this mental stuff. What was your favorite quote from the beginning…do you have one to add? Do you have any examples or stories about times you were mentally TOUGH! What are your tips to getting mentally tough!?!?!