Ever had a really rough training session and put it down to energy levels or grip issues or any number of other things that just don’t seem to really fit? Could it have been your mindset holding you back?
Our mindset is a muscle just like any other. We need to dedicate time and energy to training it as we do the rest of our body, and just like any other muscle, if its not pulling it’s weight, the whole training session will suffer.
However, mindset is a tricky one to turn around quickly. It starts at home, when you first plan your training session, and there are a number of things you can do to support your mindset around training. Here’s my top 3:
Find what motivates you: For me, what I’m listening to is a huge one and this doesn’t only apply to what's playing during my session, but also what I listen to on my way to and from the session. I try to curate playlists for any mood, and to correspond with the type of training I'm going to do. Heading to a yoga class, something more chill and happy vibes is helpful. Heading in to train some scary pole moves might call for something a bit more girl boss. Or looking to hit some PB’s in a heavy weights session for me requires something a little heavier to really get me pumped.
Plan your session: It’s true what they say, failing to plan is planning to fail. Now this doesn’t always look the same, again depending on the sort of training you are taking part in. But some idea of what you’re going to make sure you do within that session is really helpful and makes the training far more efficient. An efficient session is not only important when you’re time poor, but also leaves much less room for the cheeky self sabotaging areas of the mind to speak up and get in the way.
Wind down and reflect on your session: This one is very easily brushed aside, especially if you're squeezing your session in before work or other commitments, but reflecting honestly on your session is a mindset game changer. It can help you identify patterns in your sessions and better make use of a schedule, style of training and overall plan of attack that works best for you. You’ll be able to revisit these reflections to see how to better support yourself in your training moving forward. I like to complete my reflections while I stretch out. Multitasking at its finest and a reminder to adequately cool down and stretch rather than rushing onto the next thing for the day.
You are a product of those around you: Be aware of the talk and mindsets you surround yourself with. Training buddies are amazing but if their mindset is affecting your own performance and how you feel after your own training, perhaps you need to have a coffee date with them instead and keep training solo. Or if you need help lifting the vibe and staying on track with your training, a class or trainer could work wonders for you and assist in keeping the mindset on track along with your physical training.
Mindset starts way before stepping into the session: If you're looking to do big things in your session, try starting long before the session itself, visualising yourself completing that next challenge, nailing the new pole move, lifting the PB in the gym. Whatever it is, it can be so easy to fall into self doubt and worry, so try instead owning the fact that you have the knowledge and skillset to knock the next goal out of the park, and go for it. You’ll see a big change in how you perform if you go in thinking “I’m going to nail this training session today” rather than “I hope I can nail this session today”.
Overall however, the biggest mindset tip I can give is kindness and self compassion! We are ALWAYS our own worst critics, speaking to ourselves in a way we would never speak to a friend or loved one. Even when a session has not gone to plan, it’s still better than a session you never attempted. Rather than beating yourself up, give yourself credit for showing up to begin with and set about making the next session more beneficial however you can.