Today is going to be a good day. Today will be the day I will set a new personal best for back squat. Today I’m going to crush that goal I’ve been working towards for a long time. Have you told yourself that? When you wake up in the morning do you tell yourself today is the day I will win? These are the narrow differences between completing your goals and not completing them. What’s the narrow difference between completing that max lift and not? It’s your focus. This idea jumped into my head as I watch countless clients and trainers fail while trying to set new personal bests. The other reason this is on the forefront of my mind is because the Olympics start this week. The Olympics are a perfect example of the narrow differences between winning a gold medal or not. These athletes have been training for the last four years to compete on the world’s stage. To show the world how hard they’ve been training. To show the world their personal best. The narrowest of differences matter for these athletes. These athletes are using every tool they have available to them. Get your head out of the gutter! I’m writing this with the assumption that these athletes are clean. When I talk about every available tool I’m talking about training protocols and sports psychology.
More specifically, these athletes need to have their visualization and focus down pat. Sure there are training protocols that can make a difference from athlete to athlete, but in general, the narrow margins are not made up in the weight room. They’re made up on game day. Those differences are made up by mental preparation. You can only take so many actual reps for a one rep max. You can only run the 400 meters so many times before the body breaks down. That’s where the visualization and mental reps make up the difference. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself. Next time you need a mental edge go through the motions first in your mind. Did you do better that you thought you’d do? If you still don’t believe me? Then watch the Olympics for the next two weeks. Watch the athletes who take home medals were they in the zone prior to the event. If you can catch them before the starting blocks then you’ll catch them visualizing. You’ll see them mentally preparing for the event ahead. That’s what makes up the narrow difference between taking home a medal, sports psychology.