We put so much emphasis on the physical side of our game but not the mental one. We work hard on the training pitch developing our core skills, set piece and patterns of play. However, what can we do off the pitch ultimately certainly develop our mindset for playing. There are many things that can be done to develop these skills - Danny Leeds of DL Coaching outlines his top 3 tips below.
1. Mindfulness Many of the top performers in the world use mindfulness meditation to help them stay on top of their game. Stars like Lebron James, Novak Djokovic and members of the Harlequins Squad. So, what can mindfulness do for you? In a nutshell: Improved Concentration – being able to focus on the game going on in front of you is vital. Where do I need to be next? What options do I have to run? Where are my support players? Being able to clear you mind and focus is key to performing well. Try the 4,7,8 breathing pattern to slow down and focus. Breath in for 4 Seconds Hold for 7 Seconds Exhale for 8 Seconds 2. Visualisation How do the elite stay at the top? They have a clear plan and vision of how the game will pan out. They can see themselves completing a task before they have already done it. They practice the moves in their head before they even step out to compete. Imagine lining up to kick at the posts. Look at what the best do - take, Jonny Wilkinson or Owen Farrell for instance - Pause, Breath, Look, Kick (in its basic form). They are visualising the ball flying through the posts, they have seen what success looks like in that moment. Try it out in your next game or training session – see yourself making your first tackle or your first pass. Walk onto the pitch before you begin, close your eyes and see yourself in action. 3. Positive self-talk Positive self-talk relates to the ability to overcome negative thoughts. Positive self-talk allows performers to be more focused and more relaxed, negative thoughts increase anxiety. It is vital to remember that you are in control when you undertake positive self-talk. Focus on the areas that you can control and try to push out any external factors. This can be used in both training and games. Ensure that you praise yourself for each successful tackle, pass, run etc. Positive self-talk is about blocking the pre-game negative thoughts out. It is key to develop self-awareness to understand how you perform. ----------------------------------------------- And there you are - as a wise person once said "as much as talent counts, effort counts twice". Try putting these three simple, easy mechanisms into your pre-training or pre-match routine, and be ready succeed when the time comes. To find out more about how you can excel your performance both on and off the pitch head to www.danny-leeds.com or find @DLCoaching_ on Instagram.