Don’t be the player with ‘All the gear, but no idea…
Mental rehearsal aka visualisation is a great way to prepare for games and be proactive in your development as an athlete. Your ability to practice and improve on your skills should never be limited by your access to facilities.
Mental rehearsal is taking the time after training or analysis to mentally visualise yourself in certain scenarios and rehearse the possible outcomes. The process of visualising in addition to the practice will strengthen the neural pathways dedicated to the more desired outcomes. As well as this, it allows you easily identify what aspects of your skill set you need to work on to get better outcomes more often.
- Pre-game routine (in the zone)
All athletes require different stimulus to get in their optimal zone for performance. Keeping track of your pre-game routine is an easy way to make sure that come the ‘first whistle,’ you are in the zone.
Whether it be what you eat, what you listen to, or what time you go to bed. The small percentages could be the gap between winning and losing!
- Mental Pitch Map (MPM)
Linking to the Mental Rehearsal a Mental Pitch Map (MPM) is a key part of high-level performance. Knowing your roles and required skills in different areas of the pitch is key to a consistent performance. Discussions with a coach, teammate, or even watching video back, can allow you to build your MPM so you’re doing all the good things every game!
Refocus, how do you get B.I.G (Back in the game!) understanding what you try to do to get back in a game when you are under performing is a useful tool for some athletes who struggle with focus.
Whether it be the next carry, a line out, or a kick at goal, knowing where to find your next B.I.G impact is key to turning a performance around.
Reflecting on games where necessary is a key part of development. Yes, it’s good to stay in the moment but finding out what you did wrong, or right is huge part of understanding how to improve and becoming the best rugby player you can!
In addition to Mental preparation before a game, The Rugby Shop has a wide range of pre workout products to help boost your energy before a match.
Aquile Smith: Co-Founder of Smith Counselling
Order a copy of Rugby Insight on the following link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rugby-Insight-Mental-Health-Wealth/dp/B08HTG6J4V
Author of: Rugby Insight-Mental Health to Mental Wealth
BSc Psychology & MSc in Coaching Science