The importance of mental and emotional strength in sport
How to train your mental and emotional health
By: Carolina Bosmediano

When you ask an elite athlete, what is more important for sports success? Training, a good coach or a positive mental attitude? 80% answer that the determination of sports success is in a positive mental attitude.
But how much time do you spend on physical training versus mental training? The answer is usually very short time compared to the physical part.
What do we do to train our mental and emotional parts as an integral part of sports performance and achieve a better balance in our life?
In this summary, I present some important points to achieve this, because just as you train the body we agree that we can train and strengthen our emotional muscles.

1. Learn to direct your mind: You dominate your mind or the mind dominates you, there is no middle ground. The origin of any action comes from a thought. Therefore, answer the following question. What are the thoughts you have in a certain situation, for example, if you want to participate in a competition, make a list, if most thoughts do not add up to you, for example, "I am not good", "I am very slow ”,“ I am not good for doing sports ”, precisely those are the points that we can work on during training.

2. Identify your emotion: One of my athletes who is dedicated to cycling told me that he feels frustrated since at the beginning he won the competitions, but he began to feel distrust in himself because he no longer won as before. It is important to identify your emotions in a given situation, to work on them, it is not about hiding what you feel but about feeling and managing them in time.

3. What are your fears: An important point is knowing how to recognize mental obstacles. In cave times, the fear of being attacked by an animal was
a real fear, but now most fears are imaginary. Within the sports context, athletes are afraid, for example, of injuring themselves, especially if they have already suffered a strong injury before and are left with that trauma. But you have to understand that we can also handle fear. Make a list of your fears, be honest with yourself, then you can put them into a shape, you can draw them, name those fears, talk to them, but not from rejection but from integration as if they were your allies and you will see that little by little they will lose their importance and will no longer be an obstacle.

4. Your mistakes do not define your person: From my point of view I would not call them mistakes but learnings. Athletes often beat themselves up for having done something that did not turn out as expected. I hear phrases like, “I didn't get first place, I'm the worst” or why I ate a tremendous hamburger before the race, it was terrible for me. The lack of advice on nutrition influences sports performance. Personally, I love running in the mountains and one of the keys to improving my performance was a correct nutritional plan. I ate too much bread, a lot of rice, little protein since I am a flexitarian "term used for a person who is a vegetarian but who occasionally eats animal protein such as fish", that is my case, I eat little protein that comes from animals and I found AWÁ Nutrition Superfood Protein products as a supplement, it is a natural protein, free of preservatives, free of gluten, dairy, transgenic, so I feel much healthier and my immune system is stronger. Integrate your mistakes, analyze, and see what you can change, what decisions you are going to make, and now you know what to do and what not to do. It's the small changes that make the difference. 

Use tools like visualization, breathing exercises, and meditation to achieve your goals. Remember that the mind does not distinguish between the real or the image if you are visualizing it, the mind thinks it is real. Take a few minutes to use these tools until they become a habit.

Practice makes perfect, take action and do it now! Motivation is within you, and it is also outside, you can train your mind to achieve a better relationship with yourself, to improve relationships with your family, to improve as a person, to improve your sports performance, but we must all take action the days, that is the true training to reach the balance for your mental and emotional health.

About the author

Carolina Bosmediano. Master in Coaching and Sports Psychology. Her life purpose is to promote the physical, mental and emotional health of people. She studied a Master in Coaching and Sports Psychology at the Institute of Sports Studies (Barcelona), is a Commercial Engineer and has a Master in Management and Finance. As an athlete, in the last 9 years, she has performed more than 100 competitions in: Athletics, Trailrunning, Triathlon, Duathlon, MTB. In various competitions, she achieved the first three places, both in the general and in her category. For 4 years she was a panelist on Hot106 Radio Fuego, in the OUTDOORS 106 program. She has given conferences to companies, sports clubs, students. healthy kitchen with local products. 

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