The next episode of the Mighty Cast is all about The Psychology of the Big Lift. Don’t be confused by the title though, this stuff can apply to any task where getting in that correct state is vital.
The thing is that I’m a lifter, and I’m going to use examples which are related to lifting, but I believe that these examples can and do cross over to other tasks. In this blog I’m quickly going to cover 3 easy ways for you to improve your focus and thus achieve your goals through improved performance; if you want more information then please listen to episode 19 of The Mighty Cast.
There are many methods athletes and non-athletes use to get into the correct state to get the job done. Here are my top 3 psychological tips for the big lift / event.
- We Might As Well Win
This is the title of an excellent book by Johan Bruyneel who was Lance Armstrong’s (you might have heard of him) team director. The underlying philosophy is that if you’re going to spend all this time training / working / attempting to improve at a task, then you might as well win.When you’re in the gym have a purpose, have a number in mind that you want to reach and set about achieving it. Don’t train in a half arsed manner, thinking of all the places you’d rather be, thinking of all the things you’d rather be doing; be assured that in an hour or 2 you’ll feel great – so long as you trained to win.
- Have Your Routine
This could be as simple as having certain music on which puts you in the right mood. I know that if I put on pretty much anything by Dimmu Borgir I start feeling a tingling sensation, even if I’m not training. For lifting mood is all important, don’t worry about rhythm, that’s for the cardio bunnies.When you need to perform a certain task perfectly then it has to be practiced perfectly. With lifting use every set to set up and perform the lift perfectly, even if it’s a light set – don’t be sloppy!
I would also recommend that beginners practice getting psyched up once per session, feel the adrenaline rush and learn to control it, this will be of great value as you progress. As you becoming more experienced then you would only practice your full psyche up on max effort days, for 1 or 2 attempts only. Having a full adrenaline dump happen more than once or twice in a session can be exhausting, just ask an experienced Powerlifter how tiring a full power meet can be where this could happen 3-5 times. I have done a wide variety of sports, including some to a fairly good level and I have never felt exhaustion to rival that which a tough Powerlifting meet gives me.
- Have the Right Voices in your Head
What? You ask; voices in your head? Maybe I am mad but I believe there’s always voices in your head, there are in mine –Whahahahaha!Anyway enough hilarity; when I’m about to perform a big lift I have no more than 2 coaching points I want to concentrate on, and I’ll be saying these to myself as I set the lift up. I need to utter these incantations to drown out what the bar is saying to me, which is usually something like:“I am going to crush you!”“You are a pussy and you have no business playing with me.”“How’s your back / hip / knee feeling?”Well that’s what I hear; you might hear something else, but I think we all hear something – if we’re not putting the right messages in our heads, then the bar will put its own messages there.
Now it’s time for you to take from this list what is useful to you and go and set some PRs.