Photo by Braden Collum

Athletes – How to stay mentally fit during the holidays

For Athletes: The question is asked how do you stay mentally fit while they are away from their sports during the holidays?

The holidays is a time for people to connect with family and friends. For some athletes their time to connect with others during the holidays is limited due to travel schedules, competition, various events and games that are taking place.


It’s important for the athlete to stay mentally fit. One of the best ways to do this is to set goals for mental as well as physical skills and make sure that you write these goals down on paper. For example, I want to score ten points in my next game and I will spend ten minutes a day working on my dribbling skills, stick handling skills or whatever skills you want to improve.


One of the greatest discoveries over the years is that the mind cannot distinguish between something that is or imagined. During the holidays an athletes can spend time imagining that they are practicing their sport. Spending that time imagining yourself practicing is as productive as if you were engaging in it. Utilize this technique to help you improve your performance over the holidays. Spend some quiet time alone and just imagine yourself practicing or performing a skill. Just doing this for a few minuets daily will help to improve your performance..


The last thing I would like to say is to maintain your self-confidence during the holidays with positive self talk. Have that dialogue with yourself the way you would talk to your best friend. With positive self talk we are able to impart some very important messages to ourselves than can have a significant impact on our mental and physical functioning.


Remember to enjoy yourself over the holidays with your family and friends and know that you can do a few things that will improve your performance while you celebrate the holidays.


Lennox Forrest, PhD