Mental Strength, Injuries and Peak Athletic Performance

Print

Here is the sixth part in our series on Mental Strength and High Intensity Athletic Performance.

In previous sections, we have explore:
• Being Aware
• Getting Back In Control
• Mastering Negative Thinking and Self Doubt
• Building the Self-Confidence of a Champion
• Motivation
• Dealing with Set-backs

When you are doing any kind of high intensity athletic performance, such as CrossFit, you are most likely going to experience an injury sooner or later.

I am in no way saying this will happen for certain. There are many players who do make it through their career and never have an injury or an illness of any kind. However, as an athlete that is working on their high intensity athletic performance, you do need to be prepared in the event this happens, so you can work through the mental and emotion aspects of things.

When the injury happens, you will need to use your mental strength to focus on the positive and to explore new ways to enhance your performance.

Perhaps most important to remember, is that an injury or illness never happens at a good time. You can’t plan for them, like you can for your off season training. They can hit you on the field or when you are doing your CrossFit routine. You just need to use your mental strength and trust it to get you back on track.

So what does your sport actually do for you>

• It offers you a sense of identity. You are an athlete, you own your position.
• Major benefits – This helps to boost your self-esteem that carries over to other areas of your life. It also allows you to take recognition for accomplishments of your team.
• This allows a constructive way for you to deal with your stress and anger.

Playing your sport and doing your CrossFit routine also provides you with a great deal of benefits that go beyond the ones mentioned above. When you end up with a setback, it can put everything in jeopardy.

When you are sidelined, you might experience an identity confusion. This could cause you to feel depressed, isolated and like you no longer fit in. You may even question your value.

Unlike when you were physically capable of working through things, you can’t at this time and you can’t turn to a high intensity athletic performance like CrossFit to help you to regain your focus.

Instead, you may want to look at these 10 mental strength tips and use them to rebound and help you to begin training your mind to regain your peak athletic performance.

1. Embrace being sad and allow you to feel for the loss. It is okay to share this feeling with those around you and to own the feeling.

2. Accept it for what it is. There is no use to look at what could or should have been. Deal with the injury or illness in the moment and own it.

3. Begin to set new goals that are realistic. You may need to set a new way to measure your success. When you experience a setback, it is okay to reevaluate your goals and to do it again and again as needed.

4. Keep up your positive attitude, no matter what. You might not realize it, but this is a critical part of the healing process. Positive thinking is a critical part of the healing process. Both your mind and body are connected and when you embrace the positive, it is easier for you to go through the healing process.

5. Being active in your healing is also an important thing to keep in mind. When you are with your physical therapist and they are working with you, be active and focus on the healing process. Then each day, imagine positive healing in the area that is affected. You can use your mind to help your body to heal and to mend, while it becomes stronger over time. Just like you would envision yourself being stronger during your CrossFit routine to press yourself harder and to thrive during your high intensity athletic performance, envisioning your healing can truly help the healing process.

6. Don’t let your injury or illness sideline you. Keep doing your work out and practice routine as much as you can. If you can’t use your legs, work on the rest of your body. This helps you to avoid becoming too weak in other areas and when you are ready, you don’t have the entire body to focus on getting back into shape.

7. Use imagery and mentally practice. This will be another excellent choice when you are rehearsing for your performance and your practice. When you are with your team, this is the best time to do this. Not only can you remain engaged with the team, but it will also allow you to be more effective with your mental rehearsal.

8. Seek out support of team mates. Talk to them and be honest. They want to support you and to be there for you. Never withdraw and do what you can to be the best person possible, with your team you can make it through this.

9. Be patient. You need to give yourself time to heal. Don’t be too anxious and end up hurting yourself more in the process. This will only set you back and not benefit anyone. Keep the above tips in mind and embrace the waiting.

10. If all else fails, speak to a professional counselor, therapist or a mental coach for some guidance.

With all the following items touched on, you should find that you can come back from any setback and appreciate everything you have learned and those that supported you.

When you reach your peak athletic performance, you will find that how you deal with setbacks and obstacles are an important part of the process. Anyone can be great when things go their way, but it takes true mental strength to become a champion and to rise above.

If you have an injury or a setback, make a comeback plan and show just how tough you are and reach your athletic peak performance.

Gregg Swanson is owner of Warrior Mind Coach and specializes in the development of mental strength to reach your human potential and achieve peak performance. He is also the creator of the Mental Strength Coaching Certification, providing the tools to help trainers and coaches get the most from their clients and athletes.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Printable Version

We Are Scouting Top Writers

Are you passionate about fitness and have something to say? Reach a huge online community and get the discussion going - start writing for Tabata Times today!

Share this post
@TabataTimes on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook 
Advertise Here

Most Popular of All Time

hashtagmiguel published the post Rx; the obsession behind the prescription. on Tabata Times
You have probably read a handful of articles about what is Rx, or doing a workout as prescribed...
truebarbellion published the post Issues With My CrossFit Box on
Arrived at box for 5:30pm class. Noticed it was a bit cold. Wished I'd brought a...
Jason Wilson published the post New Virus on
There is a virus going around that has ruined more lives than ebola and cancer combined. This thing...
South Baltimore CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

5:30am class getting after this weeks league workout!

CrossFit BWI shared a link on Facebook

Knowledge Bomb Alert! 30 mins. of physical activity per day is shown to help combat the damage of sitting. As you're working today, remember to take quick walk/movement breaks- and check out this article.

CrossFit BWI shared an image on Facebook

This may or may not be a perfect prelude to the Halloween workout tomorrow. Post workout selfies are sweeping 12 Labours CrossFit and it's awesome!

CrossFit Harbor East posted on Facebook

Thursday, October 30, 2014 CrossFit Make Up a Missed WOD OR Part 1 - WOD: 15min EMOM Min 1 - 20 Wallballs (20/14) Min 2 - 15 Box Jumps (24/20) Min 3 - 12 KB Snatches (24/16) *score = total minutes completed scaled - 14/10, step ups, 16/12 competitor - 12'/10', 30/24, 32/24 Part 2 - Strength/ Skill: Squat Clean Ladder (135/95) EMOM increase 10# (total) until failure *score = max weight scaled - 95/65 competitor - 185/135 Competitor Part A - Squat. 50-55-60%. All by 3. 3 sets Part B1 - Pendlay row 4x3 Part B2 - L sit for 20sec x4 Part C - 10 rounds Row 300m 8 HSPUs

Seth Oberst DPT CSCS published the post Ask the Doc: Going Barefoot for Strength Training on
Whether or not you've read my prior piece on the short foot position, this bears repeating: the...
CrossFit Silver Spring posted an article
CrossFit Revamped posted on Facebook

Exiting stuff at the box today! Not only were there TONS of PR's, there were tons without sacrificing technique. It feels good to see all the hard work paying off. If you didn't PR, don't beat yourself up about it. It could just be a bad day or maybe it's something that we need to fix or work on. If you feel bummed, just come chat with me, I haven't PR'd anything in like a year : ) *Reminder that the hoodie sign in sheet will be at the gym tomorrow. Tomorrow's WOD Gymnastics Day Warm-up: - Work on Kipping - MU drills on low rings and high rings - Banded MU practice for scaled (ring and Bar) - HSPU practice WOD For time: 2 Legless Rope Climbs 10 Bar MU's 20 Strict HSPU's 30 Unbroken KB Swings (70/53) C-RX (53/35) S 20 Strict HSPU 10 Ring MU 2 Legless Rope Climbs

CrossFit WhiteMarsh shared a link on Facebook

Thursday WOD

CrossFit MPH shared an image on Facebook

LOOK WHO DROPPED BY THIS EVENING!

CrossFit WhiteMarsh posted an article
CrossFit MPH shared a link on Facebook

Host the perfect #paleo-friendly Halloween party with these delicious recipes! http://ow.ly/DlQze

Arenal Fitness shared a link on Facebook

Arenal Fitness posted an article
Arenal Fitness shared a link on Facebook

Arenal Fitness posted an article
Arenal Fitness posted an article
luckytamm published the post 3 Things CrossFit Teaches You on
As a CrossFitter, over time it can be easy to overlook the nuances of what makes the CrossFit...
CrossFit MPH shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit MPH shared an image on Facebook

Ralph A. and the ladies of the 12p today!

Coppermine CrossFit posted on Facebook

Mobility Class is canceled for this evening. 6pm-7pm will be open gym...do a make-up WOD, work on strength or practice a skill. Regular WODs at 5pm & 7pm!

CrossFit Revamped shared a link on Facebook

Who's coming to Miami with Alea and I? They have multiple divisions guys! Brian Keane is in! Anyone else? How about our teens?

CrossFit WhiteMarsh shared a link on Facebook

Check this week's blog post in Coach's Corner by our oly coach, Aaron Adams....

CrossFit WhiteMarsh posted an article
CrossFit Revamped posted on Facebook

Just watched Ashley Russell Deadlift 345lb...no big deal

CrossFit Balance shared an image on Facebook

"KIP OR TREAT!" Join Michael Lorenzen this Saturday at 9am for work on your kip! Have an opportunity to break down your mechanics and focus on better efficiency whether applied to pull-ups, toes to bar, or muscle-ups. Perfecting your hollow body swing and doing this well is essential for efficiency. We all can use more work on better activating our hips in the swing! All levels welcome. This will be held in conjunction with the 9am class. Just a reminder we will only be holding a 9am class this Saturday due to the Scavenger Hunt. Everyone who is participating in the hunt....should aim to work with Michael beforehand if you able to "swing" it.

Diablo CrossFit shared a link on Facebook

This is a LONG read. But, if you claim intolerance to gluten, it is a MUST-READ.

Paradigm CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

We are proud to announce that we are now part of Sweat Angels, so each and every Facebook check-in at our location does something good like providing meals for kids or building schools. Get in shape, give back, be a Sweat Angel!

Jason Wilson published the post CrossFit Has the Most Passionate Haters on
  Every time I’m watching a video on YouTube I can’t help but scroll down to read...
LaLanne Fitness shared a link on Facebook

Post your list now! Who from our Community do you recognize on this list?? Which one are you?

CrossFit Milpitas shared an image on Facebook

Jigsaw throwdown going down this saturday. going to have some awesome CFM athletes out there this weekend so if you can get out there and support our CFM teams. Going to be a fun day. Who's going? What's your teams names?

CrossFit Praxis shared an image on Facebook

Don't let your eyes deceive you, there is only one Bobby Goodfellow.. Wear your #halloween costumes to #WOD on Friday! Best #costume will win a spooky surprise. #crossfit #spooky #teampraxis

CrossFit Praxis shared an image on Facebook

Congrats to Pat M. and Coach Tommy for completing the Marine Corps Marathon - Official Page on Sunday! Come check out our CrossFit Endurance program and let us help you prep for your next race! #crossfit #running #teampraxis #allthegainz #allthemiles

CrossFit Iron Mary's posted on Facebook

I would like to take a minute to brag about the 6 am class and all athletes participating in the Luring Challenge. 2 benchmark workouts in 3 days and EVERYONE hit a PR. Nice job guys and gals. 1 more to go.....

adrummonds published the post Low Carb Bacon-Egg-Cheese Protein Waffle Sandwich! on
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better we have a protein waffle bacon egg and cheese...
CrossFit San Diego posted an article
CrossFit Endurance shared a link on Facebook

Mid Week http://buff.ly/1tgGnSu

CrossFit Endurance posted an article
CrossFit Silicon Valley shared a link on Facebook

Woot Woot Wednesday! - Coach Michaela knows how to have fun. Learning a swinging L-sit rope climb does not have to be all up tight unless we are talking about your core! Hey it's Wednesday! It is time to update you on the coming events this weekend! Friday is Costumed WODs and The Alameda Trunk or Treat starting at 3PM. Saturday is the CrossFit San Jose "FrankenWOD Throwdown". Also this Saturday Nov. 1, starting from 6PM to 2AM, Accendo Real Estate will host a costume ... http://ow.ly/2PPHw0

CrossFit Silicon Valley shared a link on Facebook

http://crossfitsv.com/wod/2014/10/28/wed

liftlaugheatrepeat published the post Beef and Bacon Chunky Pumpkin Chili on Nutrition WOD
Ok guys, I am not going to waste your time with a lot of jabber on this. I just have to come out...
CrossFit Invictus shared a link on Facebook

Attention Invictus Firefighters! Register today for the 2015 Firefighter Throwdown (Jan 27th - 28th) at the San Diego Convention Center. Registration is open until November 15th so don't delay!

LaLanne Fitness posted on Facebook

10.29.14 Yurp!!! It must be done. WOD 2014 CrossFit Games - Triple 3 For time: Row, 3000 m 300 Double Unders Run, 3 mi Everyone will spend 15 minutes max at 3 separate stations. Best time for this WOD at the Games was Rob Forte in 33:03. Good luck!!!

CrossFit Future shared a link on Facebook

“ARCHIE” http://wp.me/s2RAeU-archie

CrossFit Future posted an article
CrossFit Elysium posted on Facebook

10/29/14 WOD- Don't forget about the Halloween Party on 11/1, from 8pm-2am! BYOB and food, but we'll have some beverages and finger food to share! Warmup: CF x 1, burgener for clean strength: clean and jerk, work up to 2 singles at 90% and 2 singles at 95% metcon: AMRAP 6 min- squat clean thruster, 135/95lb

Diablo CrossFit shared an image on Facebook

CrossFit REALLY is for everyone. Let us show you why http://diablocrossfit.com/about-us/programs/

CrossFit Mission Gorge shared a link on Facebook

Nice job on those Bar Muscle Ups today! Tomorrow: Strict Press for strength, and some running interrupted by a barbell complex for conditioning. Be sure to check our WOD page for upcoming events!

CrossFit Balance shared an image on Facebook

Efficiency tips for tomorrow's workout: Double-unders- Think of this as staying organized. You want to stay connected through your core as in holding enough tension for a rep with as little movement as possible. This means head straight, tight core, legs straight. Arms are by your sides- minimal rotation with elbows/shoulders- all in the wrists, which should be relaxed! Push-ups- The number one thing I see as you are all doing push-ups and getting tired, is the flaring of the elbows. We want to maintain the standard of "elbows in" and "arms internally rotated." Why? This is a more effective pushing position and if you find it more challenging and think it's easier to switch to your elbows out, it's probably because you are compensating with your shoulders and losing that shoulder retraction. Having your elbows in translates to other movements such as the bench press, handstand push-up, and any shoulder to overhead. Soooooooo...as Dan John would say, "execute the simple things extraordinarily well." When you are doing your push-ups back off as opposed to continuing with poor form and break up your sets! Be consistent and hold this as your standard. This also goes for maintaining tension in your core and from the bottom position out of your push-up! If you are seeking gains in strength, this push-up position regarding elbow positioning is very important. Be patient.

LaLanne Fitness shared an image on Facebook

LET'S GO GIANTS!!!!!

GymnasticsWOD shared an image on Facebook

THIS WEEKEND Coach Carl Paoli is coming out to Austin, TX and Goodyear, AZ! He will be teaching at @crossfitcentral on Saturday Nov.1 and Sunday Nov. 2 at #CrossFitFury. For more information and registration, visit: www.gymnasticswod.com/seminars #freestyleconnection

CrossFit Amundson posted an article
GymnasticsWOD shared a link on Facebook

GymnasticsWOD shared a link on Facebook

GymnasticsWOD shared a link on Facebook

CrossFit Balance posted on Facebook

Head's up for this weekend- We have had three weekends of Barbell Club on Sunday's.....It's been a great turnout soo far! We will not be holding it this Sunday. We will resume the following week. If the participation continues, we will make this a regular class!

CrossFit Iron Mary's shared an image on Facebook

This is the best time of the day.

Fu Barbell shared an image on Facebook

FuBarbell snapbacks. Christmas is on the horizon. You ready? Drop date: stay tuned. #FuBarbell #ReebokONE #crossfit #crossfitgirls #crossfitmen #Olympicweightlifting #instagramfitness

@TabataTimes on Twitter

Watch the latest episode of GPTV