Andréa Maria Cecil looks at how three elite CrossFit athletes prepare their minds for competition.
Like the body, the mind must be trained so there is a plan when things go wrong.
Such is the wisdom of David Yukelson, director of sports psychology services for the Morgan Academic Support Center for Student Athletes at Penn State University.
“The mental side of sport is very important at any level of competition,” he said.
But there are many myths, said Yukelson.
“People talk about ‘the zone.’ It’s not about ‘the zone.’ Teaching mental skills is about compensating and adjusting when things aren’t going well,” he explained. “There is no cookbook. You have to understand what the person’s going through to develop a specialized plan for them.”
Then that person must take ownership.
“An athlete needs a coach to provide instruction, give guidance and feedback,” he said, “but then it’s up to the athlete to execute.”