Remember the end of last season? You probably set several goals for yourself for next year—things guaranteed to improve your performance, like "increase my vertical," "condition harder" or "drop a weight class." Fast forward to the new season and you've accomplished none of them.
It's time to submit to an honest personal evaluation. To accomplish any goal, you need to make changes. Did you make the most of your off-season by doing what was necessary to improve? Whether your goal was to lose weight, get a 6-pack or pack on muscle, you can't do what you've always done and expect different results.
We live in the land of opportunity, so take advantage of your potential by exercising your brain. Do a little spring-cleaning with the following tips to prime your thoughts and get ready to achieve your goals. Sometimes we just require a reminder. (Learn how to Reach Your Potential With Goal-Setting Techniques.)
Pay Attention to Your Self-Talk
Subconsciously we talk to ourselves all day long. And even if we don't realize it, we take these inner thoughts seriously. If you're judging yourself harshly, putting yourself down or taking a guilt trip, you're sending your body confusing messages about what you want it to do.
Maybe your inner dialogue consists of excuses, like "I can start tomorrow" or "there's no time today." Excuses sabotage your goal. Honestly, think back over the off-season. How many times were you judgmental or did you procrastinate? For change to happen externally, you need to change your internal self-talk.
(See Sports Psychology Training: The Power of Positive Thoughts.)
You can't pick up a set of dumbbells one time and lose 10 pounds. You have to pick up those dumbbells over and over, day after day.
Consistency creates habits, and new habits produce results. To be consistent, develop a program and stick with it. If you want to jump higher, find a safe plyometric program, educate yourself on the training and make sure you do it. Same thing applies to any goal. (See 4 Ways to Have Your Best Summer Yet.)
Follow Your Intuition and Passion
Every change in life starts with accepting the truth, no matter how bad it is—and your intuition wants to give you the truth. Hopefully, you selected your goal because you knew in your gut that achieving it would make you a better athlete. But if you aren't passionate about it, you won't put forth a full effort.
If your coach told you that you need to improve certain aspects of your game but you haven't made an effort to do so, it's time for a self-assessment. Are you really passionate about your sport? Maybe you are not truly happy with what you are doing and would be happier somewhere else. It may be time to move on.
It's easier to stay consistent and stick with a new routine when you're well organized. It's also less stressful on your brain and body, making it easier to concentrate on the important things—like your goals. (It works for Sarah Reinertsen.)