Saturday, June 16, 2012

Breaking Mental Barriers

Mental barriers suck.  We all have them at some point.  Physically, you very well may be capable of making a certain lift; however, at a certain weight, there's something mentally that is holding you back.

In my opinion, these mental barriers are the result of a lack of confidence.  I touched on this in a previous post, but it can't be discussed enough.  It typically happens when you look at a certain weight (i.e. 400 lb. back squat), and immediately tell yourself that it will take a lifetime, at least, to hit that number.  After months of training, you finally get close, but suddenly you start to stall, even after so much progress.  Why?  You pigeon holed yourself.  You had very early in your mind that whatever number is nearly impossible - and because of that, it is.

But have no fear, I'm hear to help you f-stomp those mental barriers.

Coaching Tip #1:  Change your mental approach from negative to positive...ASAP.  I'm coaching a pretty bad ass athlete on his lifting technique.  He's strong and can throw around some pretty heavy weight, but when it comes to the snatch, something just hasn't been clicking.  Regardless of the incredible progress that has been made, he tends to go "full retard" after a couple missed lifts.  Last week we had a tough and frustrating training session.  When recapping the session, it came out that anytime he snatches, the thought of "oh, f***" immediately enters his mind.

There in lies the problem.  A negative mental approach.  What should be said is, "oh, f*** YES!!!".  Confidence just doesn't start on the bar with making lifts.  It starts way before you even set up on the bar.  Fix your mental approach, fix your confidence.  Simple as that.

Coaching Tip #2:  Push yourself.  Another athlete I've started to work with is VERY technically sound, but she doesn't have big numbers.  It's not because she isn't strong, necessarily, but rather because she has never believed in her ability to put anything significant on the bar.  How can you truly know your ability if you never push your limits?  You can't.

What happens if you push yourself and you fail?  Push your self again, and again, and again.  Having the courage to step up and put yourself on the line can be huge a confidence boost, even if you fail.

At the end of the day, if you're able to successfully increase your confidence, you'll be able to reduce your mental barriers and see some gains in your training.

Breaking Mental Barriers Daily!

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