Free Ebook- Eleven and half ways to relax:

Download Now

13 amazing mental skills of high performing athlete.

athlete mental skill
athlete mental skill

Do you know? Sports is fun but professional sport is a competition. Professional sport demands strong mental skills from athlete.

When I was a kid I played for fun. Winning was a good feeling but even if I lost I would still enjoy playing and had no real pressure of winning or performing.
But when you enter in competition or tournament then winning and performance matters.

Competitive sport is to focus on high performance and regular excellence in comparison to regular sports or activities.
Where exercise is for physical activity, using free time or for health improvement.

Have you ever wondered how do athlete keep their mental skills game up?

I will tell you how athlete do it.

High performing athletes need to develop these various psychological skills to perform well, survive and improve.

These are 13 amazing mental skills of high performing athlete.

1)Positive Attitude

positive attitude

Athletes have to think rationally and separate past or future possible negative experiences with positive ones.
Avoid dwelling on negatives and focus on the possible positive outcome of the game and focus on it.
Have a positive attitude to perform the best of self regardless of a negative or positive result.

2)High standards and goals

learn about fear

Athletes don’t have to only do well and that is it.
They have to keep an attitude of growth and improvement and keep standards high.
Athlete Should continue reaching high standard goals.
Have to keep setting another next level high standard goal for further improvement.

3)People skills

mental skills athlete

Athletes have to deal with many people and many types of people from time to time in person or via technology.
People might give flowers or stones as per their approach.
Athletes though have to be unshakable knowing that peoples behaviour does not have to affect them mentally.
Athletes have to understand that when they have to communicate and when to avoid.

4)Self Talk

peace of mind
self talk

Mind talks a lot, it’s running all the time but if you don’t direct it the way you want it will talk negative. It can create fear of negative outcome which can result in poor
performance and negative outcome.
Athletes have to give work to mind to make it busy to avoid negative talk and indulge mind in positive self-talk.

Example: Today I am going to do well regardless of opposite teams strength or my past performance.
I am going to hit the ball or score a goal and win a match( rather than saying ohh I might miss it and the game is gone.)


visualize facing fear

Visualization is an extension of self-talk.
Athlete practised self-talk but can he/she see oneself of doing the deed?
Visualizations help an athlete to imagine being in an exact situation and doing well and handling the situation like an expert.
Visualization can be done in so much detail that athlete can construct own performance plan for the particular game and execute it.
This gives a massive positive push to one’s mind to believe that a positive outcome is coming.

6)Anxiety management

mental skills athlete
Anxiety management

To reduce the effects of anxiety on sports performance athlete have to remind oneself of the prime reason why they play the sport- To have fun.
Having a high level of self-confidence that regardless of pressure and situation he/she will do well.
Staying relaxed and calm.
Being confident with body posture and having a confident voice tone tells your mind that you are ready for the situation.

7)Emotional Intelligence

mental skills athlete
Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is to detect your emotions and feelings and know why they arise.
Once you know what you feel when you feel then you can control or alter it and react wisely to use emotions and feelings to your advantage.
This skill gives an athlete an instant advantage over any situation as an athlete is in control of the situation rather than the situation controlling athlete.



Being at the present moment and focusing on a given task until it is accomplished is key to high performance.
An athlete with unshakable concentration can produce a high performance on a consistent basis.



Coaches, teammates, mental skill coaches and people around athlete can motivate athlete from time to time.
If an athlete is not motivated from within then all outer work is temporary paint on a wall but to build the strong will to perform
an athlete has to be self-motivated.
Other types of motivation can disappear but self-motivation helps an athlete to tap into that energy at any moment.

10)Work Ethics

Work Ethics

As it has been said- Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going
Once strong good habits are created, strong character is built.
Athletes with a high standard of work ethics tend to become successful and are often seen as leaders.

11)Student approach

Student approach

Does not matter how good you are, there is always something you can learn and improve at and go to the next level.
Athletes with an open mind to constant learning and further improvement tent to keep an upward graph in career regardless of many up and downs.

12)Never give up attitude

Never give up attitude

High performance is one thing and high performance with a strong character is another.
Athletes who always play to win and never give up excel in career and are considered good assets for the team.
Result matters in competitive sports. Just good performance is not enough.
Crossing the finish line counts.

13)Self Esteem

Self Esteem

Not every day is rainbow and sunshine. Strength of character is visible when there are dark clouds all over.
Handling bad performance or big bad patch is a career without feeling down and keeping confidence up is important.
Regardless of a positive or negative outcome, an athlete should have high own self-worth and trust in own abilities.

These are 13 amazing mental skills of high performing athlete.


How do they do it?

Many new athletes don’t have high-level mental skills to start with.

When athletes reach professional level then they feel more need for strong mental skills and should have them so individuals and teams can produce
good results and learn how to master the game.

Who trains athletes?

Sports psychologists and mental coach for athletes have a responsibility to train athletes in mental skills and improve them.
Sports psychologist’s task is to empower an athlete by working with a coach via a personalised
attention on an athlete by focusing on their strengths and positive experiences.

Action steps:

1) Athletes active listening while coach and sports psychologist goes through past and current performance analysis.2) Giving strategy and information about handling similar situations if they come up in future.
3) Gathering situation and performance data and give feedback to athletes and coaches in context to the sport.
4) Do a complete analysis and make a future action plan.
5) Keeping track of individual athletes development and performance on time to time basis.
6)Communication between coaches, sports psychologists and athletes.
7)Post-session performance and outcome summarising all lessons learnt.
If needed mental skills coach runs a separate mental skills training program for individual athletes.

These websites on sports psychology go further into in-depth knowledge.

Source 1

Source 2

So tell me
Do you play sports or take part in competitions?
What mental challenges you faced and how did you deal with it?
let me know in comments.

If you liked the article then share it all over.

Recent Posts