Five ways to improve your resilience
Carrie Cheadle (carriecheadle. com) is an expert in mental training for athletes. She is author of the book On Top of Your Game: Mental Skills to Maximize Your Athletic Performance
1. Breathe deeply: when you are breathing shallowly or holding your breath, it can trigger your stress-response. Slowing down your exhale and taking full, complete breaths will help you slow down your heart rate as well as your mind.
2. Choose your focus: often, our fears, doubts, and worries get triggered by factors that are out of our control. Choose to focus on the aspects of your performance that are in your control.
3. Accept what the day brings: whatever happens on a given race day is exactly what was meant to be on that day. Embrace your fate. When you fight against it, you’re less likely to make the adjustments you need to persevere.
4. Have two types of goals: balance your outcome goals with process goals, i.e. what you need to do in the moment to accomplish the desired outcome. Focus on the present moment rather than being fixated on the future. The process, here and now, is controllable, whereas the outcome is not.
5. Have fun: sports are meant to add to the quality of your life. Figure out what aspects of your sport are the most fun for you and go do more of those things. If you’re still stressing out, consider working with a sports psychologist or mental skills coach.