Mental Strategy Clinic Audio & Exercises | July 2016
Above you'll find the audio and some visual aids from the July 2016 Mental Strategy Skill Clinic. To accompany the audio, please take note of the following mental exercises to be done individually to allow for depth, intention and quality: 1. Motivation Answer the following questions with as much specificity as possible. Dig deep. Then dig deeper.
Why am I de-motivated? Why am I motivated? Why am I here, long-term? Why am I here today (short-term)? What do I want to accomplish? What do I want to accomplish today?
Once you've answered these questions, ask yourself "Why" to those answers. Yes, dig even deeper. 2. Visualization One method of visualization is to imagine, in IMMENSE detail, a successful repetition or workout. For example, should you know you have Fran ahead of you in the next couple of days, you would imagine from the ten second countdown to the completion of the workout every detail around you as you complete the workout. Close your eyes and visualize each successful repetition in the exact way you want to execute them. This includes your breathing, the feeling of your clothes, the feeling of the barbell, execution of every thruster, every pull up, your transitions, chalking up, what your rest looks and feels like, etc. The more frequently, slowly and thoroughly you visualize the event the more prepared mentally you are for it when it arrives.
"That which you manifest is before you." --Garth Stein
Another example of visualization is to practice clearing your mind by imaging calming and often simple imagery. One example mentioned in the above audio included a "blank sheet of paper" and you'll often hear a coach yelling "PUPPIES" at athletes before they lift. Practice clearing your mind from the task at hand by choosing an image in great detail that successfully calms and focuses your mind. 3. Focus Answer the following questions with as much specificity as possible. Dig deep. Then dig deeper. Yes, EVEN DEEPER.
What are you focusing on before a workout/class? What are you focusing on during a workout/class? What are you focusing on after a workout/class? *Grab a notepad and use this exercise several times a week to become more aware of what your thoughts dwell on. Are these thoughts in line with why you are at the gym? Are these thoughts in line with your goals? Are these thoughts benefiting you and your performance that day/overall? How do you feel after having these thoughts? Evaluate, observe, collect data. How can you improve your focus? What kinds of thoughts can you replace these with? Are you celebrating your victories after class, victories of all shapes and sizes? This leads into the next exercise: 4. Self - Talk Based on the answers to the questions in the previous exercise, identify negative, bullying self-talk. Make a list of these negative phrases. Then, to the right of this list, make another list of simple, short, POSITIVE phrases to REPLACE the list to the left. These replacements should be positive, clear, and concise. Example: "Don't quit." ----> "Finish strong." "I don't think I can do this." ----> "I can do this." "This is hard." ---> "I am strong." 5. Mantras Mantras are examples of positive clear replacement phrases that are two words or less, repeated over and over again that drive forward momentum. They are powerful tools that have a great impact on you when you hear or think them. They need to be so powerful for you that they give you GOOSEBUMPS. The good kind. Examples:
Greg Amundson "Breathe Fire" Josh Bridges "One More Rep" Create a list of potential mantras for yourself. Ask other people what their mantras are. Practice using them in workouts. Choose one or two at a time to practice with to allow for its effectiveness to become clear, one way or the other. What works for one individual may not be as effective for another. (Initial practices may feel unnatural at first as well, so give a mantra several attempts before trying another one.) 6. Breathing Toward the end of the audio from the mental skill clinic, you will be walked through a breathing exercise to work on isolating and filling different parts of your lungs. This is an exercise to become more aware of shallow breathing and to practice on deeper lung breathing. When was the last time you could hear your breathing intentionally in a workout? Meaning, you exhaled loudly because you chose to? This exercise can be completed as many times throughout the day as you like, but can be relaxing and effective if practiced 3-4 times a week before going to sleep or right when you wake up. (Or both!) Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and enjoy these mental exercises! Additional resources: mentalwod.com CrossfitAmundson.com/greg-amundson