Sometimes I get asked, “are mental blocks real?” This type of question usually comes from someone who has never experienced a mental block or they have a hard time understanding how a mental block happens.
But athletes know they are real. And, if they aren’t dealt with properly, they can seriously affect your performance which can affect the outcomes of games, as well as your role on the team. So what can an athlete do about it?
I’m Dr. Tim White, owner and sport psychologist at White House Sports Psychology, and in this video we’re going to talk about mental blocks and what athletes can do to work through them.
When athletes talk about mental blocks, they are usually talking about a situation where they know how to do a specific skill but their mind gets in the way.
Other times athletes may be trying to learn a new skill and they know they are capable of performing that skill but again, the mind gets in the way. The mind and the body are strongly connected. And the fact that the mind can get in the way of doing a physical skill, proves this fact.
However, we need to do more than simply recognize that the mind-body connection exists. We need to train the mind in addition to training the body.
When we are scared, nervous, or unsure about doing something we have never done before – or we haven’t done in a long time – those thoughts and emotions can block our body’s ability to perform.
The good news is that we can feel emotions like fear, uncertainty, and nervousness, and still perform a specific skill. Most athletes do this much more often than they realize.
Having uncomfortable emotions does NOT automatically get in the way of our body’s ability to perform a skill, and it doesn’t automatically lead to a mental block either.
Most of the time athletes do a pretty good job of working through difficult thoughts and emotions but when those things do block our physical performance, we need to remember that this challenge is not permanent, and more importantly, it is something we can work through.
The number one thing athletes can do to overcome mental blocks is to train their minds.
We can train our mind to be stronger, more resilient, more flexible and adaptable. When we do this, we strengthen the mind-body connection and when that connection becomes stronger, we are able to overcome the fears, worries, and uncertainties that often lead to mental blocks.
Ultimately, we are able to get our body to do something that at one point in time our mind did not want to do.
We train the mind to overcome its own hurdles or obstacles. By overcoming those hurdles and obstacles, we are overcoming mental blocks.
So going back to the original question, YES, mental blocks are real but more importantly we can train our mind to overcome those mental blocks.
Sport psychology, mental training, and even athletic counseling are all things you can use to recognize and overcome the mental blocks you have in your sport.
Do you feel like you’re struggling with mental blocks that are keeping you from performing your best? If you want to train your mind and learn the skills and techniques to overcome mental blocks, then click the link below to schedule a consultation today.