Recently I competed at the 2017 U.S National Team Trials in Fort Worth, Texas. I had a total of 3 matches before falling in quarterfinals before the double elimination portion of the competition. That being said, after evaluating my matches after the competition concluded, I noticed a very important factor in 2 of my matches that was not there in the 3rd match… “The Mental Game”. I had mentally prepared myself for each upcoming match, although for some reason I was not mentally prepared for my 3rd match. This competition made me realize how IMPORTANT your mental attitude plays as a factor in a match. Not just in a Taekwondo match, but in any competitive situation.
First off, if you’re reading this please understand the seriousness in this blog. I was so in the zone the first two matches that I felt unbeatable! My 3rd match it was as if someone hit a switch and it turned off. Why did this happen? This is my reasoning… I found that along my mental train of thought, I realized that my next match was quarterfinals and this match would determine a forward advancement into the double elimination portion of the trials. That specific thought derailed my mental train of thought.
If you are continuing to read this, how can you benefit from this blog? Are you a fighter? A chef? What are you in your daily life that “The Mental Game” could contribute to? First off you should find a mental state of mind, a goal. What is your goal? Is it to win? Win what? Keeping your plates of food consistently going out to customers in a timely manner? How fast do you want them out? See what I mean? You need to ask yourself some questions once you find your goal? Don’t stop there! The night before your big ordeal, you should start with your SERIOUS mental preparation. Take 30 minutes to yourself when no one can bother you and visually see everything coming together for you. This is important because your mind will have already seen this scenario coming together the next day when you are engaging in the act. As you go to bed, say a small motivational prayer/speech to yourself to fall asleep confidently. Make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep! Sleep is important!
The next morning you awake from your sleep and you are ready to start your big day! Start your day with breakfast to treat yourself to anything you need. Remember, at this point it is okay to be selfish. This day if about YOU! Now, what happens next is definitely preference about how you mentally prepare yourself for the day. I can tell you that I personally enjoy some music and other mental preparations throughout the day. As you go throughout the day and you get to the make or break point (quarterfinals for me) remember that it is just another match and that this person or task cannot defeat you if you are in your zone! “The Mental Game” is definitely a winning factor in the biggest moments of your life.
If you have made it to my conclusion, please take this as a serious write-up. “The Mental Game” is HUGE! Stay positive everyone!