In sports, a player’s ability to self-manage mental stress is the factor that can win or lose the match. You can liken the mental stress, that high-profile sportspeople endure, to the stress you will feel as your fitness test draws closer. Therefore, you may perform better when training by yourself than under pressure.
When high importance is placed on an activity (like your fitness test), the mind can panic, resulting in changes in your brain activity. These changes affect your ability to control your body with your usual ease. While highly frustrating, this does not have to be your experience. In fact, many athletes hit their personal bests when the pressure is at its highest. These athletes have strong and well-trained minds, ready to help them during high-stress situations enabling them to avoid panic.
what role does self-belief play?
It is challenging to take the actions required to train adequately for the fitness test without self-belief. Human beings are capable of more than what we perceive as ‘normal.’ Unfortunately, we often don’t achieve our full potential simply because we do not believe it is possible. Bring this back to your upcoming test and ask yourself, ‘what is the dialogue in my mind? Do I believe I can do this?’ If the answer is ‘yes,’ then you are a leap ahead of the rest. If not, let’s get to work training your mind to pass your upcoming fitness test easily!
What can you do to improve your mental preparation and self-belief?
1 - Visualisation
What we imagine is what our subconscious will drive us towards. Considering that 95% of our actions are subconscious, visualisation becomes a powerful tool. All you need to do is close your eyes and imagine yourself completing the final element of the application process and passing the fitness test to the highest standard and earning your spot in uniform. See everything going smoothly and feel the smile on your face when the recruiting staff hand you your certificate because you know you have easily passed. The trick to making this visualisation even more powerful is to feel the emotion of success within your body as you visualise. The more you repeat this exercise, the more you will believe in your ability.
2 - Positive internal dialogue
Taking the time to become aware of your internal dialogue is 100% worthwhile. Most people let their mind wander to wherever it pleases but this can severely hamper your ability to achieve your goal. In short, what we think is what we believe. And if you don’t believe you will pass your fitness test, then guess what?....you likely won’t. To change that, become aware of your thoughts and then take charge by consciously stopping yourself every time you hear yourself think (or say out loud) something negative about the test or yourself. Once you have stopped, take a deep breath, and then make a firm statement about what you want to believe. For example, if you think, “I am never going to be able to do 10 push-ups,” change it to “I am going to give it my all until I punch out 10 push-ups, and I will be excited when it happens!” OR if you think "there's no way I'll ever get to 7.5 on the beep test" perhaps change it to "I ain't stopping running until they drag me off!".
You may not believe in yourself right now, but if you effectively use these mind strengthening tools alongside your physical preparation, you WILL successfully pass your fitness test.
If you have questions or want to discuss your current fitness level and your goals, feel free to get in touch!
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.