At-home mental training for Olympic athletes begins long before the actual event. Just like your physical training would begin many years prior to entering the Olympics, so does mental preparation. The Olympics can bring more mental stress than any other sport event. Because the Olympics are only every four years, and they are so widely participated in and watched; the Olympics can bring more mental stress to athletes than any other sport event.
If you are preparing to compete in the Olympics, you should start early on by setting long-term goals. It is never too early to set a goal to be in the Olympics. A goal such as wanting to compete in the Olympics eight years from now would be a long-term goal. Long-term goals are essential, but just as vital is staying focused and not lose hope. Subgoals should be set and met throughout the years. Subgoals help you feel as if you are accomplishing something and moving closer to the main goal. Subgoals may be a certain competition that is in six months, or running a certain distance by next summer. Once met, new subgoals can be set.
Olympic athletes must learn how to manage stress. As mentioned, the Olympics are stressful. You cannot show up to the Olympics and expect to be able to manage the stress levels if you have not learned and been practicing stress management. Managing stress in everyday life is as valuable as managing stress during any sports competition. Stress can cause your body to become worn down and fatigued.
Confidence and Attitude
Self-confidence, positive thoughts, and a good attitude are all also mental attributes Olympic athletes should practice at all times. These take practice and should be used in all aspects of your life.
Olympic and other elite athletes need to be on a strict schedule. This means getting ample sleep, attending work or school, and practice and training. There will be sacrifices along the way such as missing social engagements.
While eating is not a mental exercise, it takes mental preparation and discipline to eat healthy. Eating balanced meals that are appropriate for your sport and keeping your body fit will take mental preparedness.
Remember that mental training is as important as physical training for athletes, and it takes daily work.