“It is impossible. It can never be done. I will never succeed.”
These are words that you may hear in your mind when you are heading to your next training session or event. And you may feel ashamed for having those thoughts. But you must know that every competitive person has felt those emotions at one time or another. It is about how we respond to those feelings, not whether they exist at all.
To casual viewers, sports is all about athletic performance and improving your physical condition. And while physical conditioning plays a huge role in sports, the mental aspect of competing cannot be discounted.
So many of my clients were not even aware of how the mental side of their game was impacting their performances, until I put them through a few scenarios to help them understand how mental preparation can impact sports performance.
No matter where you are in life, or what challenges you are facing right now, self-improvement is something that we can all strive to achieve.
And for athletes, self-improvement is often measured through results. Running those few seconds faster, swimming a few seconds quicker, finding more consistency with your performance and rising to the occasion when under pressure.
But how can self-improvement change your life?
And how can you get on the path to self-improvement? Here are some reasons why self-improvement and becoming a better you is so important.
1. New Opportunities
We all go through setbacks in life. Whether it is a physical disability, mental condition, illness or an emotional event that sets us back. But we must look at every difficulty or challenge we face as an opportunity to grow and experience new things. Self-improvement is about acknowledging your current reality and ensuring that you are making the best of it.
2. Boosting Self-Esteem
Ask any athlete from any sport and they will tell you that self-esteem and confidence is a huge part of athletic performance. You can spend all week training ahead of the big game, and you will be perfect in training. But if you are coming off a few bad performances, it will be in your mind. Your self-esteem is at an all-time low – you do not even believe you are any good right now. And that is what will cause you to underperform – not your physical condition.
By boosting self-esteem, we can ensure that you are always ready for the challenges that come your way. Whether it is a challenge in life, or your next sports competition, you will always have the confidence that you can achieve your goals.
3. Become the Best Version of You
Self-improvement is not about becoming the best. Sometimes we must acknowledge that we cannot be the best. There are others who are blessed with more talent or better circumstances. But if you cannot be the best, should you just give up? No. Self-improvement is about being the best version of yourself that you can manage. And if that translates to the best athletic performances you have ever put out, it is even better!
(Rob is a sports performance specialist with over 16 years experience in the fitness industry. Focus 4 Fitness offer expert sports therapy & sports massage, personal training, sports coaching, classes and courses in Norwich).