5 Ways To Trust Your Training So You Can Perform At Your Best
Has your coach ever asked you to do something even though you were afraid? Have you ever been expected to trust yourself even when you thought it was impossible? Do you ever think that you want to trust yourself but you just don’t know how? The big question is always HOW? One of the hardest parts of being an athlete who takes risks is being able to trust that your body and mind can work together to do the right thing at the right time. Have you ever been in the situation where your body felt ready to try something but your mind was not? Don’t worry, it is very common in competitive sport. You don’t have to feel ashamed in any way. How can you trust yourself when that crazy fear is just dancing on the top of your head and follows you no matter where you go? It is so hard when fear stands in the way. It is also even harder when you don’t know how to trust yourself.
My own experiences
I think of myself when I was younger and I remember having been told to trust myself before trying something that I was afraid to do. To be honest, I think it was the hardest part of accomplishing any goal. I would be standing there ready to try but just couldn’t take that last leap of courage to actually go for it. I realized over time as I got older that I always seemed to be the ONLY one doubting myself. My coach never doubted me and neither did my parents or teammates. I was the only one struggling to trust myself enough to do it. Sometimes I tried to blame others for my issues but I realize now it was all me. Even now as an adult when I lift weights in the gym, I have to convince myself that I am strong enough to lift them. Sometimes they feel so heavy and I wonder if I will ever be able to do it. I have to constantly remind myself why I practiced so hard to get to this point. I try my hardest to remember that any struggle is worth every minute of the result that I will achieve in the end!
Your coaches do it too
Coaches have to believe in their knowledge and skills in order to be a beneficial teacher to their athletes. I know that if I did not trust myself I would not be able to help my own athletes do the same. If I did not trust in my knowledge of gymnastics I would not be able to guarantee that my athletes will accomplish their goals. Everyday your coaches are constantly learning new things and convincing themselves that they can do them so that you can be the best athlete possible. It’s exhausting to trust yourself in the moment but in the end you will be thankful. The reward is so much more exuberant than the prior exhaustion because when it’s all over and done with you will realized that in the process you proved to yourself that you could be successful.
So now for the most important question. How do you do it? How are you going to trust yourself when it seems almost hopeless?
I think that it is pretty much impossible to just “get over it” Let’s be real. There has to be another way.
Let’s start with what questions to ask yourself.
Who wants you to do this? AND Why do they want you to do it? Those are the most important questions to ask yourself before going over the 5 best methods to trusting yourself.
The next question kind of goes along with the ones above.
Do you really want to do this? If you do, you are on the right track. Simply by telling yourself that you really want to do it, you are allowing your mind to trust your body and vise versa.
5 Methods to Trusting Yourself
I want to share 5 different methods that will help you start answering the questions you need answered in order to be able to trust yourself. Not every approach works for everyone the same so feel free to try different ones and see which one best applies to you. You can even do more than one if you are up to it.
1) Remember a time before when you overcame a fear or trusted yourself in the past in order to be able to accommplish a goal.
Have you ever tried something new before? Have you ever accomplished something you wanted so badly or worked so hard for? If you have then you are already on the right track. You technically already know how to trust yourself because as an athlete you believe in yourself everyday. Convincing your mind and body that you are ready to get physically and mentally prepared to be able to advance your abilities is a perfect example of you trusting yourself. That being said, when you feel afraid and unsure of what the outcome of your actions will be, try and think about how you got through a similar situation last time you felt that way. If you were successful before you can be successful now. I am not saying it is going to be easy and I cannot guarantee that the solution is always going to work the same way but I do know that there is a good chance that what has worked for you in the past could work for you again. Remind yourself of how proud you were last time you trusted yourself and strive for those positive feelings over again. Remember how happy you felt last time you accomplished one of your goals after time and time again of unsuccessful attempts.
2) Remember why your coach is asking you to do this.
Your coach is the only other person other than you that knows you best in the environment of your sport. They know what motivates you, what scares you, what makes you laugh and even what makes you cry. Your coach wants you to be successful and is going to do whatever it takes to make sure you get there. It is okay to trust them knowing that they are only asking you to try something new becasue you ARE READY for it. I know for myself when I coach I have a rule that I use with all of my athletes. The rule is that I would never ask them to try something that I thought they were not ready for. Each one of my athletes knows it because it is vocally communicated multiple times in our training sessions especially during the tough times. I have gone by that rule for over a decade to this day and it’s still going strong.
3) Follow my 4 steps to overcoming the feeling of giving up.
I have 4 important steps that can help you to overcome that feeling of giving up when something feels impossible. Take a look at it and try and incorporate it into your training. They are there to help you relax your mind and body so that you can be ready for whatever it is that you need to complete. Each step has its own meaning and purpose so go over each one carefully and make it a habit to practice the steps when you are feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.
4) Ask yourself “If I don’t do this, am I okay with moving on without accomplishing this goal?”
Would you be okay with not doing something that you know you can do? Would you be okay with moving on with your day not completing what your coaches believed you were capable of? Will the rest of your day be positive knowing you did not at least try and overcome this bump in the road? Once and a while it is okay to move on as long as you can justify it with knowing that you did not hold yourself back in ANY way from becoming a better athlete by skipping that task. In most cases, skipping a task would not be a great way to improve or increase your self-esteem and confidence in your development as an athlete. Is it worth a try then?
5) Go over your long term goals and reflect on how important they are to you.
What are your goals? How important is this short term goal for you to complete in order to get to your much larger goals?
By trusting your body and mind that they know how to do the right thing, you will be able to go forward in accomplishing your next goal. It will be much more difficult to move on to achieving your next goal if you have not completed the one prior. You always want to feel like you are moving forward in your skill set and development as an athlete. The only way to do that is to be brave enough to try the things that seem tough so that you can move on to making more exciting goals.
Something I have learned in the past is that you can’t always have what you want when you want it. I wish it worked that way but unfortunately it doesn’t. You have to remain positive that the right thing will happen in the end. Maybe you don’t know what the “right thing” is or when the “right time” is, but it is important to convince yourself that it is okay to not know for now. Maybe the time won’t feel right for you but sometimes it’s better to be brave and take the opportunity while it is right in front of your face. Don’t let great opportunities get away from you. Trust your thoughts about what is good and focus on what is important to you. Sometimes a leap out of your comfort zone, even when you feel like you are not ready is the best thing you can do for yourself. You will probably feel uncomfortable at the time and wish over and over again that it would be over, but the only way out is to see it through.
Take a deep breath and always remember how strong you are. You got this!
Trust Yourself. You are worth it.
“You are your own most powerful motivator and critic. Which will you be?”