How to Develop a Successful Athletes Mindset. Be Your Best.

The people who excel at their sport normally have very powerful ways of thinking and feeling emotions.

This post is about these mindsets and how they transfer and apply to everything else in life.

As some of you may know, Parkour for many years of my younger life was my sporting passion. It is what one the things I have achieved the most in my life thus far.

I wasn’t talented at it when I first began but I did have one thing and that was the drive to get as good as I possibly could, I enjoyed it so much I put the time and effort in to achieving that. The thing I have learnt the most about from this sport is fear and the limitations of the mind. To get truly good at a sport like Parkour it takes courage, drive, passion, self-belief and a mad desire to break through the minds perceived limitations.

If the drive and passion isn’t there, we won’t go very far. That holds true for everything, only certain individuals get to an elite level at their sport, those are the ones that have the mindsets that I am going to describe throughout this post.

If you don’t do a sport, don’t worry all these mindsets can still be applied to all things in life.

Here are the things that I think a lot of athletes who get good at what they do, think about and have inside of them that allows them to progress and grow at a rapid rate –

Passion

First and foremost the passion for your sport is the fire to move you forward and get as good as you can. You enjoy it so much that nothing gets in your way and you put the time and effort into practising. You have to love what you do. This can’t be suddenly turned on so find your passion, what do you love? If you haven’t found it, keep searching.

Drive

This is what keeps you going out time after time, the drive to better yourself, to see what you can really accomplish within you. Knowing you can get more from yourself each time you do your sport, the drive is what’s needed to get to an advanced level, you need the internal fire to push through all the blocks of the mind.

Stillness of the mind

Stillness of the mind when faced with something that you fear. Let me explain: When you are about to do a movement in a sport like Parkour that you haven’t done before you may feel a lot of fear. Many people run up to it, then run back, then up to it again then back and so on and their mind starts going crazy, all sorts of thoughts can crop up and for a lot of people these can be negative, such as thinking about the consequences of not making the jump. Not good… What I have realised is the people who can get themselves to progress and do the certain movements when fear comes up is they aren’t in their heads. They look at it, then walk back and their mind goes still, no silly, limiting thoughts come in, it’s all focused on the movement and they go for it and normally always do it well.. Stillness comes easier to some people than it will to others, but it is something that can be worked on. Simply become aware of your thoughts and feelings, observe them, but don’t let them run the show. 

Courage

Courage can come from the drive to get better, when faced with fear if you don’t have the drive to do it the chances are you can walk away without much guilt about not doing it. People with the drive have courage, and they don’t walk away from fear very easily, they want to face it, if not they won’t feel satisfied with themselves. There are two types of fear in Parkour, one is where you know you can do something and you are scared to do it but know you will be fine if you go for it. Then there is the fear where something isn’t quite right, in this instance learn to walk away from it..  Facing fear is what takes courage, knowing and feeling fear becomes normal for courageous people, they know the perceived limitations of the mind aren’t good enough, and they know if they can break through than there are no limits to what they can do. Feel the drive inside of yourself and don’t settle for anything less than the best from yourself. Don’t let fear rule your life.

Vision –

This can also be called day dreaming I guess, but basically it is envisioning yourself doing something.. I know a lot of elite athletes do this, have a vision in your head of what things you want to achieve, they become more and more real as the emotion and passion build up inside you. I have had this a lot when listening to certain music, I go into a daydream or have visions of doing the things I want to do in Parkour. Chances are eventually it becomes reality if the passion and drive is there to create it and make it happen. 

Inspire

I think if you have the mindset of wanting to inspire other people (not show off, but inspire) then it becomes a lot easier to get good at what you do. It’s all much bigger than you then. Inspiring others to be the best they can be through you trying to be the best you can does so much good for the world.

All these things can be applied to everything in life. Have courage, love what you do, drive yourself to achieve more for yourself, still your mind in the facing of your fears, and desire to inspire.

“The human body is capable of amazing physical deeds. If we could just free ourselves from our perceived limitations and tap into our internal fire, the possibilities are endless.”

~ Dean Karnazes. 

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