Peak performance in football comes from top mental and physical preparation. Consistent peak performance is the result of consistent mental preparation.
To mental preparation shouldn’t be reserved for only the most important competitions during a season, yet many athletes prepare for regular season competitions differently than championship competitions.
Mental preparation should be a part of your regular warm up routine. You want to approach competition in the same way, no matter the significance of the game. Consistent mental preparation leads to consistent performance.
It’s hard for athletes to flip a switch and perform at their peak on demand at the end of the season. All the preparation during the season leads to peak performance at the end of the season.
Do you prepare differently for games based on a regular season game or if you’re playing in a championship game? To apply the benefits of mental preparation, you want to dedicate time throughout the season to improve your mental game. Inconsistent preparation causes athletes to under perform in games compared to their practice performance.
Great preparation is the approach of Temple University football each time the team gathers together, no matter if it’s practice, training, scrimmages, film sessions or games.
The Owls treat every game with the same amount of importance. Temple linebacker Chapelle Russell says every game is a championship game in his mind, especially as conference play starts.
RUSSELL: “Every game from here on out, in my eyes, is a championship game. Conference game, every games matters. It’s a championship mentality, every time you come out you come out to this field. We want to continue working regardless of our opponent, worry about us… Any bit of mental prep we can do to add an advantage to [our] game, that’s what we are going to do.”
You have to prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally to be fully ready to perform your best. This requires that you are focused during practice and training sessions. If you are not focused in practice, you will lose focus in games.
If you do not hustle, push past pain, and go all out in practice, your effort will suffer in competition. If you do not mentally prepare and work to develop your mental skills, you will lack the mental toughness necessary to overcome obstacles and perform at your peak.
Thus, you want to prepare for every game as if it were a championship game. Consistency and peak performance happen when you have superior preparation habits. How you prepare and practice all season long will pay off at the end of the season.
Mental Preparation and Peak Performance:
Ask yourself, “What would I do if my big game was in two weeks? How would I get ready to perform my best?” And mental preparation for competition is the most important after all the training is complete.
Mental preparation includes entering the role of athlete before the game, fueling your confidence up pregame, focusing on one step at a time, and preparing to trust in your skills you work on every day in practice.
And mental preparation includes way more that coming focused for the game. You also want a high level of confidence, superior composure, and high trust in your skills. Mental preparation also includes the ability to anticipate challenges you might face in the game and be ready to cope with or adjust to those challenges.
For example, how will you handle a loud crowd? How will you deal with a wet field? How will you stay composed if you’re called for getting called for a penalty that costs your team a first down?