When I first started Jiujitsu, I mainly relied on the physical aspect of it. As I began training for a few more years I realized that the mental aspect plays an equal if not more important role. The attitude of an athlete can make or break them. It’s what separates the good from the great. A positive attitude is everything, while a negative attitude or mindset will hold you back more than you would believe.
Is your glass half-empty or half full?
The majority of humans actually tend to have a negative mindset because it comes easy and natural. Positive thinking takes effort and you have to learn to teach your brain to think in such a manner. You have as many as 25,000 to 50,000 thoughts each day, and it is ultimately up to you to use thoughts properly. There is positive self talk as well as negative self talk. As an athlete, negative thinking can greatly impact your performance and limit you on your full potential.
Now as an athlete, you need to start by being confident and having well established self- esteem. An article published in a 2009 issue of “Time,” based on a study by the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick, argues that positive statements about yourself can be detrimental if you have low self-esteem. Urging yourself to be better and more positive could lead you more deeply into negative feelings as you identify areas in which you are lacking. Essentially, trying to think positively if you have a negative outlook on your overall self can hurt you even more. So the first step is making sure you are confident as a person and as an athlete. Trust in your skill sets and abilities.
How you think can be associated with your upbringing and environment. If you have consistently been surrounded by a positive atmosphere, most likely you’re going to be a positive thinker and then the opposite would occur as far as negative thinkers. As an athlete, it is vital to train your brain to have more positive than negative thoughts. If you believe you’re going to fail or you do not believe in your self and your skills that will translate through your performance. Jiujitsu athletes who compete should really understand the importance of this concept. If you walk out onto the mat, thinking “I don’t know if I can win” or “I don’t think I’m good enough for this”, it will reflect in your performance. You are the only person stopping yourself from reaching your potential and having the right mindset it vital to that. You create your thoughts, therefor you can change and control them.
Here are some tips for positive thinking:
1.Associate yourself with people who think positively.
2. Start paying attention to your thoughts, and as negative thoughts start appearing, replace them with a constructive, happy and positive thoughts.
3. Use POSITIVE affirmations. These positive statements will sink into your subconscious mind, which in turn will motivate you.
4. Before competitions, visualize a successful outcome and how you plan to achieve it.
This may all be so easy for some, but I know for a fact some athletes struggle with creating a positive mindset. It wont happen overnight, but once you train your brain to get rid of the negative thoughts, you will absolutely see an improvement in your overall performance.