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What is Mental Skills Training?

posted Jan 14, 2016, 3:56 PM by Shannon Walton

"What is mental skills training?" is a question I often get. I view it as the same training you do for your body to prepare for competition, but the focus is on the mental aspect. The goal is strengthening your mental game to prepare for all competitive scenarios. So what exactly encompasses the mental game? Being able to focus on the correct cues, knowing how much energy to use and when, preparing for competition, controlling emotions, recovering from mistakes, etc. It pretty much affects all areas of the game. Once an athlete gets to a certain level physically, the mental game is what will set them apart for the others. Being able to control their nerves, their concentration, their energy, all go into making the top players who they are.

Delving into MST is like tacking a tough climb, it takes a lot of prep, dedication, hard work, but the reward is a stronger all-around athlete and person. It takes the same effort as physical training, probably even more so in the beginning. As an athlete your thought processes and habits are well ingrained into your routine. Attempting to change those habits that are at a conscious and unconscious level take months of re-training. Changing your mental habits takes a lot of hard work and effort, but the payoff is vast. When you start noticing how you don't get as nervous stepping on the field, or you can relax when you feel tense up at bat, or you tell yourself that you are going to kill that climb, that is when you know something good is happening and it will only get better. The key is having the mentality to fully integrate MST into your training, competition and life!

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