A Mental Warmup for Athletes
It is common for athletes to complete a structured warmup prior to competitions and training sessions. This warmup can help prepare athletes’ bodies for the specific physical demands of participating in their sport and prevent the occurrence of injury. Although structured physical warmups such as the FIFA 11+ are widely available and frequently implemented by coaches and athletes around the world, structured warmups designed to help prepare athletes for the mental challenges associated with their sport are less common. To be useful, a mental warmup should work in conjunction with a physical warmup to help athletes to achieve a state of readiness to perform their best and prepare them to use mental skills that can facilitate performance.
The Mental Warmup was developed with feedback from athletes of various ages in a wide variety of individual and team sports. It contains elements of techniques that are well-documented in the enhancement of sport performance. After using the Mental Warmup, athletes report that they:
- are motivated to perform their best
- are appropriately calm and energized
- are confident in their ability to perform their best
- think thoughts that are productive for performance
- are focused to perform their best
- are prepared perform their best
An added benefit of the Mental Warmup is that it may help reduce stress (in sport and other performance situations, such as exams and interviews) and decrease the risk of stress-related injuries if practiced regularly.
The Mental Warmup, which can be streamed or downloaded as an mp3 file for free by clicking on the STREAM or DOWNLOAD button below, is a starting point. Athletes, coaches, and sport psychology consultants are encouraged to use the Mental Warmup as a foundation that can be modified to meet their individual needs and adapted to the specific sport and nonsport situations in which it is being applied.