Do you struggle with doubt and distractions when going after your goals? Discover how mantras can help keep your mind calm, focused and positive - all key for peak sports performance - from Kathy A. Feinstein.
What is a Mantra?
A mantra is a short, positive, instructive and actionable words that address what you want to think and how you want to feel. Repeat your mantra to direct your mind away from the negative thoughts, feelings and distractions and to focus your mind on the helpful thoughts, feelings, and experiences you desire.
Your mind has more control over your performance than you think. For example, when you are running a race and you start thinking “This hurts. My legs are feeling heavy and tired, and there is still so far to go…I can’t make it.” These negative thoughts tend to compound and start to increase. Instead of using your mind to push yourself to perform better you may have a self-fulfilling prophecy that (even if just slightly) negatively impacts your sports performance.
At all levels of sports performance, it’s not just sheer physicality, but the athlete’s will and focused determination that drives them to perform at their peak when it matters most.
Why Mantras Work for Athletes
Mantras have become a very effective and popular practice with athletes to enhance their sports performance and to help keep them going when things get tough. Positive, motivational and inspirational self-talk has been helping professional athletes win for decades.
Athletes use mantras;
During their training, to strengthen their mental game and keep themselves motivated
Before a race or game, to build up strength and confidence, to get pumped and their energy flowing
During their race or game, to empower them to stay focused, on target and positive
At all levels of sports performance, it’s not just sheer physicality, but the athlete’s will and focused determination that drives them to perform at their peak when it matters most. The following motivational mantras may help sports performance. Remember these words the next time you need an extra shot of courage and strength:
“I got this.”
“Right Here Right Now”
“This is what I came for.”
“I’m tougher than I think I am.”
How to Create Powerful Mantras
1. Keep it short
You want a quick and powerful one-liner that’s less than 8 words.
2. Keep it positive
You are ONLY allowed to use positive words. This ensures you will fire and reinforce the positive pathways in your brain – not the negative. For example, instead of saying “I do not want to feel tired”, repeat to yourself “I feel power, I feel energy, I feel awesome!”
3. Keep it energized
Use powerful and strong verbs and adjectives that evoke energy, like ‘tough’, ‘fast’, and ‘calm’.
4. Keep it actionable
Use your mantra as a mental reminder for what you are capable of, how you want to feel or what you plan to do.
5. Keep it at the forefront of your mind
You want to use your mantra(s) when you need to direct your mind away from unhelpful feelings, thoughts, and actions and towards helpful ones.