The shape that your thoughts take in the months/weeks/days before an event, the day before, minutes before, and even during a bout can have serious consequences on your ability to perform. And, even if you haven’t become a victim of stress. a relaxed mind can work wonders on your game.
Constructive Thoughts and Methods That Can Help in Your Game
Let’s start with constructive thoughts during a game and then work backwards to just before the game, and then go back even further to the weeks and months before a game.
During the Game
It will be great if you can completely push out all unnecessary thoughts and focus on the game at hand (like the martial artist quoted above). But this kind of ideal condition is not always possible. As per the quote, the voices of past experience guiding me is a kind of a cue that this athlete uses to prompt the right action at different stages of the game. The cue technique is a very effective method to keep yourself on track during a bout.
Cue technique: During the match, you can talk to yourself in your head and constantly cue your moves and actions. These cues can be regarding any of the following:
- your moves at different stages of the game
- your posture
- motion or momentum – when you are stuck in a tough lock
- distraction breaking cues ( say a forceful ‘STOP’ inside your head)
- pep talk when you start losing confidence
- cues to initiate a Submission without losing the opportunity (say ‘NOW’ inside your head)
The following quote is from another martial artist regarding a slightly different approach:
Whenever I spar I always have a bunch of things running through my mind not pertinent to the match. I have never been able to clear my mind of thoughts prior to the start of the match. Therefore as the match starts and I find myself purposely not thinking in sparring and letting my subconscious repertoire of moves come into play.