Speed is an important component of any sport. Nines times out of ten the quicker you are the better you are, which is why Mindsport has produced an article that has outlined a handful of key mental strategies to improve this important attribute.
State is the biggest predictor of behaviour. Positive internal states tend to produce positive results in sport and in life.
If you want to develop more speed in your sport, the first port of call is to make sure that you are feeling good. Feeling bad is a little like sticking diesel into a car that runs on petrol, and hoping for the best. The car’s performance will be severely affected, much like your performance will be when you are working from a negative state. Here are some ways to get into a positive state before training and competitive performances:
Visualisation- Fill your mind with visions that make you feel good. Images of loved ones, past sporting successes, potential future successes, times of laughter, are some examples.
Listen to music – a fantastic way to rev up productive states before competitions.
Humour and laughter – are also very effective tools that produce positive internal states. Perhaps take time to engage in some banter with team mates and coaches a few minutes before competitions.
Loose is fast
Arguably this is the most important strategy to consider if you are looking to produce more speed.
When you want to increase your speed during a performance the initial response is to try harder. Paradoxically, trying harder slows you down. This is because trying harder always involves constriction and tension, which works to oppose the generation of more speed.
Speed comes from a residual looseness in the body that creates flexibility. The moment your body becomes tight, often through the act of trying too hard, you remove this internal flexibility creating a reduction in speed.
Feeling loose is the source of speed