Why do figure and bikini athletes do what they do and love doing it? The love of the sport is obvious, and perhaps, the motivation and inspiration they absorb from it.
There’s just so much focus and dedication that goes into pre-contest preparation. What follows when you step off the stage though? Do you get together with friends and indulge in a pig out session at the buffet?
Strict diets for months on end, often take an emotional toll on competitors. Come the end of the show, you see a green light to rush to your favorite eating place and simmer down your cravings.
Satisfying cravings is OK, but it really pays to give heed to a healthy diet plan within days of the competition. Besides, indulging in too much food can give rise to discomfort – gas, bloating, cramps, water retention, and so on. Your body’s trying to breakdown food it can’t handle, kind of like a meat grinder when you’re feeding it too much meat.
It’s during the off-season periods when we truly get a chance to rate our success rate, goal accomplishment and see what changes need to be made. Reflecting on these moments during the off-season is what ultimately makes you a better athlete and figure competitor.
Then there’s off-season motivation. How do you continue to look and feel your best, while not going overboard with the diet and training? This is actually a great opportunity to develop your “mental training program”. Every competitive athlete is attuned to a certain level of mental toughness, and we’re going to use this mental toughness to tap into off-season motivation.
Psychological Skills Training
To acquire the toughness and motivation to accomplish any desired goal, it must start with the mind. PST is a technique devised to help athletes hone certain psychological skills to improve performance and enhance their athletic and competitive mindset. In other words, you’d have a mental game plan on your hands.
It’s a Mind Game
This sport that you’re in, how much of it is mental? Do you spend any time practicing these mental skills? Most athletes will tell you that their sport is very demanding mentally, yet spend little to no time or energy honing certain mental aspects.
Get to it
What psychological skills do you need to have an edge over the competition? Put them down on a piece of paper. Narrow down your list and highlight the top ten or top five. Write them in order of importance if it helps. Examples may include stamina, confidence, self-esteem and so on.
Chalk Out Goals
The whole idea behind goals is to push and motivate yourself, so as to determine the pace as well as success rate of your progress. Goals need to be both short and long term; you need to allow a little bit of flexibility and do quick modifications according to the demands of your job.
The off-season presents a great opportunity to reflect on your mental game plan and a course of action for the next competition. Hold on to motivation, as it’ll help you set goals and find success in those goals.