Increased mental capacity drives performance!

Athletes the world over continue to prove the immense ability of the human body by breaking and setting world records almost daily. The limit of the human body is constantly pushed to see just how far one can go. There is without a doubt increased research and techniques which allow our bodies to perform at a greater level these days than was perhaps available to previous athletes but what I want to focus on in this post is primarily the mind and our mental capacity. 
Brain
This is after all where the name InnerFight was derived from. InnerFight means the battle that occurs in our mind, our ability to train the mind and by doing so increase our mental capacity. The mind plays such a huge roll in our life and in achieving optimal performance that we must pay due attention to it.

Lets look at a quick example of Roger Banister the first man to run a sub 4 minute mile. For years and years medical experts claimed that the human body could not run at that pace, it would simply break down. Banister decided that was not the case and ran sub 4 minutes, since then a number of others have done the same.

Banister

Another great example of the strength of the mind is an athlete that I was working with recently. She was unable to lift a certain weight in the morning. She left and came back in the evening and lifted the weight with ease a number of times? Had she gotten stronger in that period? Not at all. She had increased her mental capacity!

Here are five points on how to increase your mental capacity to drive performance:

  1. Think positively: Now keeping telling yourself that you can lift 200kg is not going to make you lift it if your previous personal best is only 100kg, that’s just ridiculous. What I am saying here is that you have to stay in a positive frame of mind. You have to have your: “I can do this” hat on and not “I am going to fail” hat.
  2. Prepare your brain: There is no need to out psych yourself but just expecting to rock up and do great things is going to be tough. Start thinking about the great things you are going to do in the gym or on your run a few hours or days before. Get your mind used to it and then when it happens it will seem normal.
  3. Focus: When you want to achieve something great in your performance you have to give it your undivided attention. Things like mobile phones going off just give your brain something else to focus on. Leave them in your car or in the locker.
  4. Break it down: Lets take for example 100 reps of anything and say you want to set a new personal best time to complete them. You have to break your counting down, maybe sets of 10 or sets of 20 in your mind. I can assure you that 100 of anything is a lot for the mind to deal with.
  5. Its tough: You have to be ready to go to a place where you haven’t been before. If you are about to lift more weight than you have lifted before this is going to be a new sensation, it’s going to be tough, you have to open your mind to this and be ready to accept that to get what you want you are going to have to work harder than you have done before.

Being the best you can be, improving your performance and setting new personal bests requires many different components of performance to fire at the same time. The major difference that we see in athletes today (both amateur and professional) and the thing that sets them apart is their mental capacities, their ability to use their mind as an extra muscle to control the body in a way that delivers brilliance. Increase your mental capacity and you to will increase your performance.

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