This is a topic I find myself coming back to on a fairly regular basis and it is something I personally put a huge premium on in both my own training and the training of others. Self belief and a it let’s have a go attitude are what I am alluding to. In the training of physiological attributes (speed, conditioning, power and strength) getting elite is going to be hard. There is no hiding from the effort you are going to need to put in to be the best athlete or person you can be physically.
To this end having your mind and attitude in line is of the utmost importance. If you walk into a hard set of squats with a negative mindset I will guarantee you now that you will fail. A negative attitude in a physically maximal task is a self fulfilling prophecy that is why I always try to in still in people a positive attitude. The worst case scenario is you give 100% and fall short of what we wanted in the session. I can work with that, if you have that attitude then over time you will get better. Even if it’s via attrition. Any back to the title of the article.
Phrase one – I can not (I can’t)
This is probably the most common blockage most people have when it comes to training (or even life in general) they look at something like a difficult lift or a hard task and initially think I can’t do that! What you are doing is starting off by putting all of the reasons of why you will not succeed in front of you. If you start off only thinking of the difficulties and problems that lie in your way then off course you will not be successful.
What you need to think of when you look at a task or a target is how do I do that if you preface it with this simple change in words you will drastically change your planning and outcomes. If you look at how it is done then you will engage the problem solving parts of your brain and will come across a solution that will lead to a much better outcome.
Phrase Two – I don’t think I can do that / I will not achieve that
This is probably the one that annoys me the most it’s just outright pessimistic and self defeatist. If you don’t have enough self belief to set a hard target and believe you can achieve it you may as well just give up now. Everything worth while achieving is challenging and hard to see how you are going to get from A to B, but if you don’t have enough self belief to enact the things you need to be doing to get to the end goal you will never succeed.
Every one has moments of doubt in life and training but the true measure of strength of will and character is what you do when the spectre of self doubt comes a knocking. Do you crawl up in a ball and give up or do you dig in and try your damnedest to get the results you need to get you back on track for your end goal.
When you have moments of self doubt think to yourself what can I do right here and now to get me closer to my target. No matter how small just do something positive and forward thinking after all an inch forward is better than a foot backwards.
Phrase Three – This hurts, this is tight, that is herpty derpty excuse de doo
This one needs to be applied with more intelligence but it is the sentiment that I am after. It is the job of you as a coach or your coach to decide what is dangerous or a risk to your health. For the most part all of those aches, pains and tightness you have are just noise. Shut up and get on with it.
If your lifting heavy and your back seizes up after a deadlift session and your a powerlifter, welcome to life as a powerlifter, if your an athlete don’t do deadlifts with bad form ever.
If your smart with your warm ups and exercise selection you should not really come across many if any injuries during weight or conditioning training.
When you get to know a person you get an appreciation for how to take their feedback, if someone who is otherwise a stalwart and hard trainer is complaining of pain then it’s probably something we need to address. However if your the boy/girl who cries wolf when it comes to niggles and pains then your not going to enable yourself to be successful.
It’s fine to bitch and moan about training pains but to constantly take your foot off the pace because you have a niggle or pain is to constantly stall and eventually regress. Mobility/flexibility/manual therapy/Phisio are all awesome but if they are not there to enable you to train harder then they are just a crutch for weakness.