Sport Psychology for Athletes: Understand all the Pieces
In this post I wanted to look at an aspect of sport psychology for athletes, that unpacks the pieces of the puzzle to performance and the mindset one needs around it. Some of you understand that there are many components that exist and come to together to create your performance, some of you maybe don't see that yet or know about it but only choose to focus on one area of it.
Performance is like a pie or puzzle, there are different pieces that one they all come together make up the whole. However, sometimes we get hyper focused on one piece and forget that it doesn't make up the entire equation. For example, when we look at performance, hard work is important, it is a piece. However, sometimes we get too focused on just working ourselves into top performance that we neglect that other pieces, such as sleep, recovery such as ice or rolling, eating healthy, and time off. Each of these pieces are just as important. If you don't take time off for example, you body and mind can't recover fully and then when you go and practice or train your full effort is now compromised.
Sometimes as I mentioned we are aware of all the pieces but don't put the same focus or time into each piece. Time off, is one of the hardest things for an athlete to do. There is often a belief that if I am taking time off, someone else is working harder then me and therefore getting better. You must work hard when it is your time to work hard, to train and to practice, but it requires the time off. On the mental side we need to get a break, to not think about the pressures or of competitions and we need to find ways to do so. If we don't we burn out, we are less focused, it is harder for us to put in the work and effort needed.
So make sure you tend to all the pieces, because each piece has a role, and without it the pie or puzzle is not complete, and if that is the case then you can potentially perform at a high level but you won't be able to perform to your highest level.