You don’t have to be a professional or an Olympics champion to be considered a successful athlete. You don’t need to have won national or other major leagues championships and dozens of cups and medals decorating your house walls in order to show that you have reached the maximum of your athletic performance.
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Successful athletes share a common denominator. They are determined to devote themselves to what they’re doing, to try as much as possible and to remain committed to their goals, even if it leads to exhaustion and a lot of training in order to enhance their natural abilities.
They are successful because they feel good and they have fun by participating in sports. Also, they feel that training fills their lives and they believe that the outcome is worthy of their effort.
There are nine key points which, if they are adopted, they are bound to contribute to your efficiency and lead you to success.
All nine can be taught and improved through techniques and repetition. The important thing is that all these can help to improve sports record and they contribute to achieving various other things in all aspects of our lives.
In order to improve your performance as an athlete:
1. Try to have a positive attitude
See the workout and the match as an opportunity to compete against yourself and to learn from the success and your failure.
2. Maintain a high level of motivation
Seek continuous improvement without becoming a perfectionist so you don’t get discouraged and give up easily.
3. Set high but realistic goals
Short-term objectives which are carefully planned and realistic are an indicator of a successful long-term objective. You should work by bearing this idea in mind.
4. Interact with people around you
Always remember that you are not the only athlete as family members, friends, teammates and much more may share the same passion for sports. The more positive these relationships are, the better.
5. Use positive inner dialogue
Even in the most difficult situations, the motivation which is triggered by us is the most supportive one. Rationalize your thoughts and transform them into positive ones.
6. Use positive imagery
Even during an injury, research shows that athletes who used imagery recovered much faster than those who have not used this particular technique.
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7. Manage stress to your advantage
Accept the fact that stress is part of your effort. The objective of the athlete is to work in such a way as to use it positively.
8. Manage your feelings effectively
Control your anger effectively and convert it into energy and to your advantage.
9. Stay focused
Focus on ‘ here and now ‘and work so you can isolate any external distractions.
All the above can become part of our training and use them to complete our personality as athletes and as people in general. By investigating and recognizing our level, we can start working things out with the aim to improve!
References: Krane, V., & Williams, J.M. (2006). Psychological characteristics of peak performance. In J. M. Williams (Ed.), Applied sport psychology: Personal growth to peak performance (5th ed., pp. 204–224). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies. Seligman, M.E.P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive Psychology. American Psychologist, 55,5-14.