Throughout the globe, many people dreaming of making it big in sports, of being an athlete, representing a state or a nation. The people who fulfil this dream, do not have it easy in the industry where consistent performance has a humongous influence on the career timeline of an athlete. A career of an athlete is unpredictable sometimes filled with victories, but also the harsh losses and mass criticism. The victories tend to get in the mind of the athletes, while the losses destroy self-confidence. Furthermore, the criticisms are just harsh blows to the morale of the players, who then start having doubts about their consistency and ability to perform. The mentality of the athlete is being studied over the decades and it is understood that mental training is the modern solution for an age-old problem.
It is commonly said that the physical conditioning of the athlete has a direct impact on performance. A well-structured fitness regime would hone the game skills of the athlete, with higher fitness levels usually translating in the better performances of the sportsperson. However, only physical training doesn't end the training of the athlete. Looking at successful careers over generations, there is a common trend and striking features in the minds of such victorious careers. The success is a result of physical maintenance as well as the mental conditioning of the individual.
In every industry, some situations come across as challenging. Certain events could lead to a turnaround in fortunes, being a "make and break" event. In the sports scenario, these situations arise with every changing situation of the game. The lapses in the mental conditioning of the athlete would lead to lacklustre performances, an inability to live up to the situation. Every athlete has a certain game sense, which could only function when they are mentally prepared for the event. Mental conditioning leads to focus, a peace of mind as well as improved individual and team performances.
The art of mentally training athletes is not only to boost their performances but also to train these individuals to face crushing losses and harsh criticisms. An athlete tends to lose confidence, self- belief and becomes very critical of his performances. Mental conditioning eases the process of facing these losses, by converting them into learning lessons, helping them absorb the high intensity and magnitude of the loss.
Major sports teams and leagues throughout the globe have emphasized on the need for mental training of the athletes for the better quality of sports. It is often considered as the " competitive advantage" that a team has a better mentality than its rivals to make it to the top. Mental conditioning helps to hone the competitive spirit, winning mentality, and the confidence to show your game. An example could be taken of the Leicester City campaign of the 2015/2016 English Premier League, where they defied the odds and won the league as underdogs. Upon examination of this shocking victory, it was noticed that all the players were "made to believe" and were instilled with a "match-winning mentality" to play consistently in a highly competitive league. The mental conditioning team is the backroom staff that helps the players translate their off-field training to on-field action.
The training of the human mind helps the sportsperson to organize better. There are situations in every game where calmness is required, but the role of aggression is also needed. This mental conditioning helps the athlete to use aggression to motivate his colleagues and help them to switch their personas as they need to, for performance-oriented benefits.