Yesterday was On Track with Curtis Keene Season 1, Episode 2.

Today is On Track with Curtis Keene Season 1, Episode 3.

At the start he talks about mind trolls and how they can destroy your ability to perform.

Sports psychology has an answer for this.

The term Self-Talk in sports psychology refers your inner voice and techniques to optimise it.

We’ve all had experiences where our inner voice tells us we’re invincible and other times where it destroys us. A key way to improve our performance is to get rid of any negative self-talk and replace it with positive stuff. The reason for this is our thoughts have consequences which is sometimes described using an acronym:

  • T houghts
  • E motions
  • A ctions

Our thoughts affect our emotions which affect our actions.

Self-Talk techniques are a fairly easy concept to understand i.e. replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, but they take time to master.

There are a few ways that we can develop a mastery of our inner voice:

Using a Mantra

In the same way some meditation techniques use words or phrases that are repeated, developing your own words or phrases to calm you or fire you up e.g. ‘I’ve got this’ or ‘Go, Go, Go’, can help you get a handle on negative thoughts.

Change your Negative Thoughts to Positive Ones

Different situations may need different internal dialogues. If you’re exhausted and coming to the bottom of a hill climb, changing your thoughts from ‘I’m exhausted, I don’t think I can do this’ to ‘2 minutes and I’m at the top’ or ‘I’ve done this before and can do it again’ will help you through.

Combine it with Mental Imagery and Tangible Targets

Combining your positive internal dialogue with a visual image of you achieving the goal strengthens the effect of your thoughts as it provides an instant reinforcing message. With this in mind, your targets need to be tangible. Visualising yourself taking a win at Crankworx when you’re jumping a double you’ve just built in your local woods won’t have as potent an effect as you visualising yourself jumping the double as the feedback isn’t contextual.

If you’re going to take the time to practice, practice like the elite.


Want to Learn More?

Self-Talk in Sport and Performance

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