Your first round is never your best round, is it? It takes awhile to get your body loose, limber, and attuned to the demands of combat sports. Most athletes find their “flow” a little deeper into a training session, when everything starts to sync up.
This is especially true on days where you walk into the gym feeling a little stiff, sore, and even groggy.
Our minds operate in a similar way, too!
Without the proper attitude, our training sessions won’t be as productive. If we walk into the gym with a negative mindset, it will cast a pallor on the work that’s to come. That’s why it’s so important to mentally warm up before you even step foot into the gym.
Here are some tips:
- If you’re feeling a little lazy, remind yourself that you will both regret skipping practice as well as feel great about yourself for sticking it through. Focus on how it feels after every training session. When you cheat, you only cheat on yourself!
- If you’re feeling low energy, don’t worry about how well you perform in class. Accept the challenge ahead of you and simply focus on doing your best. There is no “winning” or “losing” in practice so simply show up and put in your best effort, whatever that amounts too.
- Reaffirm both your short term and long term goals. Having a strong orientation towards a specific goal will help you stay consistent and engaged throughout plateaus and disruptive periods.
- Find the mantras that help regulate your moods. Too excited, and need to level out? There’s a mantra for that. Too frustrated, and feel like nothing’s ever going to fall into place? There’s a mantra for that. The power of repeating simple phrases cannot be overlooked. Words shape our reality — if we flood our thoughts with specific words, we can easily change our reality in whatever way we want. Experiment with different approaches and find what works for you!
Ultimately, a mental warmup will be unique to each person. Finding the best way to get yourself prepared for training does take some time, and it often feels really silly, but investing into the mental work will absolutely have massive effects on your progress over time!