The Power of the Mind
Written by Nichole DeHart
One definition of the word ‘consistency‘, as offered by Webster’s Dictionary, is an agreement or harmony of parts or features to one another or a whole; the harmony of conduct or practice with profession.
And man, can I tell you that consistency is what I saw by the winners of the two Regionals I attended. I was at the California Regional and West Regional and the winners of those Regions – Josh Bridges & Lauren Fisher for California and Carleen Mathews & Brett Fikowski for the West – were consistent throughout the weekend. They crushed personals bests, outperformed what they did in training and dominated the competition in their Region. This also goes for all the athletes who qualified for Games; the level of competition has rapidly improved and to make it to Games you must be the best out of the best.
But how do you become the top echelon of the sport? How do you become one of the best, then beat the best at their own game?
Well, one of the biggest things that can have the greatest impact is the mindset of an athlete. A mindset that expects you to play your game consistently will always be the one that prevails.
The best athletes head into competition without the assumed expectation that they will be on the podium at the end of the weekend. Even if they’ve been there before. Even if they’ve outperformed their competition in the past. They know they have to perform and do so consistently throughout the weekend to have a shot.
Here is where consistency with the mind is crucial. You MUST PLAY YOUR OWN GAME. Even when the stakes are high, you must continue to play your own game. This doesn’t mean that you ignore what your competition is doing. No, not at all. Instead, you have confidence in your abilities and rise to play your full potential and beyond.
We saw this with many athletes at Regionals, especially with Event 1. The stakes were high in that Event 1 because for many people it was a make or break event. But the majority of competitors stood out; those who elevated their Game to compete with the best. If you haven’t already read this article then check it out on the Games site. It is about how many competitors not only hit a new snatch PR but did it TWICE! It takes consistency in thought to overcome feelings of doubt, unworthiness and, instead, consistency with mindset in thinking that you BELONG on that competition floor. That you belong at Games. That you are one of the best.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that if you just think about being at Games then you will be there. These athletes live their truth. They eat, breathe and live training for Games and they pass check marks along the way. They come in top 3 at local competitions, come in top 5 at big competitions, consistently stay on top during the Open and compete with consistency at Regionals. But that finesse of elevating oneself to beat the best in the sport is a craft that takes time and practice to master (and a finesse that some will never have).
Being consistent in competition, not allowing extrinsic elements to fluster you, and playing YOUR game will help you be your best. That best may be in your garage gym, it may be at a local competition, on the Regionals floor or the arena of Games. Whatever that ultimate test looks like for you, know that once you’ve committed to testing your limits then consistency with your mindset will help you be your best amidst the best.