Watch now “Mental Coach: Workshop for Athletes”, a workshop by Mayra Ramos, Founder of “Atleta Campeão”. Read more about the workshop below.
Let's face it. There's nothing more frustrating than losing a competition to yourself before it starts...
“Mayra! Get up… go, one more.” Shouted my coach from the edge of the court.
It was 2004, I was 17 and it was my senior year of junior.
I had gone to train in Texas, it was about 40 degrees in the gym, the training was tough, but in a short time my evolution was great.
I was the favorite to be in the top three in the world that year.
I was fine. But like any outstanding athlete, I had to deal with envy, criticism, and judgment and I definitely didn't know how to deal with that.
There were 4 months left for the World Cup and the closer the competition got, the greater my expectation of the result.
That was generating such tension that it became too heavy to carry. I remember it like it was today, it was my last jump from that training…
I got up, took some distance, picked up speed, and jumped, I felt a stab in my spine while still at the top and went straight to the ground… This time I couldn't get up.
My spine stuck. And I couldn't get up, so far so good, falling down, and getting injured, is part of life as an athlete until the doctor walks through the bedroom door with my coach and says:
- Mayra, your injury was serious, you will need six months of complete rest.
My coach takes the lead and speaks.
"I talked to the doctor, and unfortunately Mayra, you are out of the world."
The news that every athlete fears to receive… This, in the life of an athlete, is like seeing the ceiling collapsing in slow motion on top of your head and not being able to do anything.
And, to make matters worse, I had just closed my first sponsorship, that is, for the first time in years, I wouldn't have to worry about paying for trips, registration and I was still earning a good salary at the time, around 2,000 reais. For a 17-year-old athlete, from a little-known sport in Brazil, that was very big.
Today, working with athletes, I see that many go through this.
Nervousness and anxiety generated by the expectation of a result.
Excessive self-charge and pressure often end up causing injuries.
I say that tension causes injury.
In my case, the pressure I placed on myself of having to generate results - for myself, for others, and for the media - almost ended my career.
Well, I don't know what time you're going through.
If from a standout athlete, with great potential to be the best in the world in his modality.
Or if you just started competing and you have a burning desire to be a great champion… But you feel:
Nervous before the competition to the point of wanting it all to be over
Anxious and tense in the pre-competition weeks and getting injured frequently.
Dissatisfied with his performance, as he always leaves the competition with the feeling of “I could have done better”
Losing to your head before the competition even starts...
And his wish as an athlete is: "To be able to do in competition everything that you do in training"
I have good news for you... We can do this together and we're going to do it right.
But first, tell me:
- How many focus workouts did you do today?
- How many trainings did you do to arrive at the competition feeling confident?
You asked this because it's no use arriving on the day of the competition and trying to fool yourself with motivational and positive phrases...
Confidence is built in the day-by-day training, as well as your physical preparation for the competition…
And the difference between the athlete who climbs on the podium and the athlete who watches the awards ceremony from the stands is how mentally he is ready for that moment.
When it comes to competition, it’s 90% mental and 10% physical…