Skills for Optimum Training and Racing Mindset

Below are skills that are necessary in order to achieve the optimum training and racing mindset.

1. Consistency
2. Goal and target setting
3. Visualization
4. Internal Dialogue
5. Self confidence
6. Performing under pressure
7. Mental planning

Being consistent takes effort and a considerable amount of time, at first this may seem uncomfortable, hard and very challenging. In order to help succeed at being consistent reward yourself and make sure to have a support network.

Setting goals and target is normally done at the beginning of the season. Remind yourself of your goals throughout the season and work to reach targets that bring you closer and closer to your goals.

Visualization is one of the most power tools to helping gain confidence.

Internal dialogue can affect heart rate, effort, and other physiological process. It is important to understand the difference between action and thoughts. Maintaining a positive thought process can have beneficial effects on performance.

Self-confidence comes from a variety of ways. Progression in fitness, mastering skills, and improvements in performance are all examples, you don't have to win races in order to be confident.

Pressure can come from external forces such as friends and family being at races, race prizes and awards, or it can come from internal forces such as race goals and stress.

Mental planning is the key to racing well. Create competition goals and targets, know your visualizations and self-imagery - focusing on form is a great example. Keep your internal dialogue positive, stay focused, and manage your energy.

Having the optimum mental strategy takes time and patients. Charlie Johnson has reminded a lot of us that, "I have BY FAR learned the most from my worst & toughest races". So with that - remaining positive will take you a long way. If a workout or race doesn't go a planned, learn from your mistakes and let that help you become a stronger athlete.


  1. Michelle HarrisonJune 27, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Great reminders, Sandy. My mental game is by far my biggest weakness. But I'm working on it...

  2. GREAT, GREAT information! Controlling that Internal Dialog can be a bigger challenge sometimes. Visualizing crossing the finish line of that next big race and BOOM, there goes the heart rate! Just knowing that you have to watch for these things and use them to your advantage is key!