In the world of sport one of the main clichés is that “90 % of the performance comes from the mental component”.
The major contradiction behind this statement is the fact that 90 % of the coaches and athletes devote almost all of their time working on the physical, technical and tactical components of the game. Most of the time they neglect the mental component, which is the one that separates the truly successful athletes from those who do not value their resources. In addition, the mental component is in fact that one present in everything, yes in everything we do (physically, technically or tactically).
To what extent is sport mental? In fact, sport is 100% mental. Our thoughts influence our actions / results which, in turn, influence our thoughts.
Despite this evidence, the justification for neglecting mental training results from the lack of knowledge that the vast majority of sports agents have about this area of knowledge although, allegedly, they seem to recognize its relevance!
The training of mental skills aims to “produce” psychological states that enhance better performances. The psychological component, focusing on mental training, is the new “science” of sport.
The different scientific studies on efficiency of mental training report that about 85 % of the cases reveal an effective increase of the results.
In a study conducted in Australia, aimed at understanding the athletes’ level of focus in some of their best games and in some of their worst performances presented fairly revealing data. The data show that 47 % of the players easily lost their focus when they won easily and 38% lost the focus when they lost the games.
Another interesting finding is that 65 % of the players felt somehow “psychologically affected” due to environmental factors such as audience, noise and facilities’ conditions.
The game is meant to be played and often due to the lack of psychological training, athletes and coaches are playing the “no game” game. Due to the lack of psychological skills they focus their mental resources on something that will not bring them results, instead of focusing on what they want and on what they can be responsible for, which in turn can enhance the results.
Given the relevance of the psychological factors, the proposal of the urgency of mental training becomes evident. Preparing our main resource, our mind, for what we want as athletes… high performances!
Because, never forget… sport is 100% mental!
Find more about this subject in the course: A framework for achieving your Soccer Team’s Goals