Advent tips

A tip a day during advent 2015. All based on psychological research, they may be able to help life and your sport run a little smoother…

December 1: If you need to have a tough conversation don’t sit face to face. Go for a walk, talk side by side. Feels less confrontational.

December 2: When setting goals don’t make negative ones: i.e. I won’t eat chocolate. Make positive ones, I’ll eat 5 portions of veg a day.

December 3: 55% of injuries in amateur endurance athletes start with a niggle. So don’t ignore niggles. Get them checked out.

December 4: If talking to media before a sport or work event don’t tell them objectives – it just gives you additional pressures.

December 5: Create a pre-performance race routine. It will help you get into a performance mindset, reduce anxiety & give confidence.

December 6: Don’t set outcome goals like ‘winning a race’. You can’t control anyone else. Make your goals ones you have power over.

December 7: If you need to give a presentation, practice in a safe environment first to build confidence and minimize nerves.

December 8: With a coach you are less likely to get injured, more likely to overtrain. Be honest & frank with them about how you feel.

December 9: You can’t control your environment. Don’t try to. Instead control how you respond to it.

December 10: The best way to reduce stress levels is to exercise.

December 11: Coaches: only give athletes feedback when asked for & offer ‘what was good, what could be better, how it could be better?’

December 12: Don’t copy a celeb athlete’s mantra or cue word. Self-set statements are most effective so create your own.

December 13: If you want to build your skills or self-confidence learn to use imagery. It gives you functional equivalence.

December 14: If you get injured don’t write the time off. Use it to learn mental techniques and write a rehabilitation plan.

December 15: Pick a challenge for next year that really excites you. It will be easier to get out training if you remember why.

December 16: It is normal to take 20mins to fall asleep. Falling asleep immediately shows you are incredibly fatigued.

December 17: If working with media set ground rules & boundaries to ensure that your training & performance comes first.

December 18: Pick a goal & break it down into as many processes as possible. You can control each of these & tick them off for motivation.

December 19: Allow one day per time zone to adapt to Jet Lag. This is for body temperatures to adjust.

December 20: If you are in sleep debt try to increase your time in bed by 15 minutes each night.

December 21: If injured research your injury in depth. It will mean you are more likely to follow your rehab programme properly.

December 22: Follow your circadian rhythms & train for cognitive skills earlier in the day & gross motor skills later in the day.

December 23: Tell someone your goal for 2016. If they ask you when you see them how you’re getting on you’re more likely to stick to it.

December 24: A great social network buffers you against stress & injury. Thank your friends & family today for their support.

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