Our internal and external state of affairs are in constant interaction. What we think and feel affects our performance as much as physical training; for example believing you are strong and capable becomes a reality over time and fueling your body with whole, nutrient-dense foods produces positive results in performance.
How we manage our surroundings and environmental variables in relation to our training is also a powerful key in achieving short and long-term goals. When taking inventory of our environment, here are some things to be aware of which may be helping or harming your focus and performance:
- Are you prepared in advance for workouts with the essentials? For example, having your bag packed, sports drink pre-mixed and everything placed in an easy location is helpful to some and can reduce some time and stress of rushing around to get everything ready and helps you easily transition into training mode.
- Speaking of daily hassles, focus on removing or reducing the ones you can control, such as leaving earlier to avoid traffic and using good time management.
- Sleep is vital to one's mental and physical performance. Find a routine before bed every night and stick to it as best you can. If you have trouble turning things off, practice taking deep breaths or visualizng yourself in a calm environment.
- Maintain a diet that balances lean protein, dark vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and kale. Omega-3 fatty acids found in most fish and flaxseed play a key role in maintaining attention and focus. Ensure enough calories to stay fueled throughout the day-spread out in 3-5 hour intervals.
- Surround yourself with individuals in which you share meaningful relationships. I think this one speaks for itself.
- Also, keeping a training or practice log is helpful as you can track your goals and progress. Some things to include are: specific workout, mood, sleep, energy level, who you trained with, if applicable and stress level.
- If additional help is needed getting started, see a mental coach or consultant.
If we gain a sense of control over our selves in terms of our contexts, concentration during activity comes easier. Be mindful that we cannot control everything and mastering these variables takes practice.
Best of luck as you set yourself up to reach higher!