When we have inner power, inner strength and inner alignment we easily and effortlessly transfer this to our sport. Period.
As a coach I see many talented athletes who are strong physically but lack the internal resolve to execute their technical skills. To be a strong competitor and skilled athlete we have to spend equal time developing the inner resources while training the physical aspect to be effective during high pressure performing such as try out camps, time trials and races.
Here are the 3 internal attributes athletes can develop to increase their competitive advantage:
- Inner Power – confidence, trust
- Inner Alignment – focus, attention
- Inner Strength – discipline, resilience
When we bring these attributes to our workouts, on and off the water, they develop an inner resolve that directs and manages our physical power.
For example; we may be going through the motions and completing the exercises when we are strength training but if we do not use mental focus while performing the exercise, the opportunity of peak development can be lost.
So here are a few tips to build internal strength during your water practices and dry land training:
1. Set up your alignment. Get picky about this as you want to feel what’s happening in the body to create confidence. Proper alignment builds muscle memory and instills trust in your ability to perform in proper form when it counts. Competing requires we use stroke power and our alignment is that power.
2. Bring your attention and focus to the body part, activity and the intended results of each. You may choose to go internal right to the muscles being used to feel the connection and building of energy. Creating this focus during training allows you to bring this same attention and focus when competing.
3. Keep a journal of your training. It need not be anything elaborate but it should be specific. Track the facts that show improvement, not only in strength but in the body’s ability to recover from training sessions, be more flexible, feel vitality from a hard session, experience more endurance and come back from injury. This record will help you connect to the internal resilience that allowed you to continue to train. This disciplined act of tracking your success through challenge is how resilience is built.
Sometimes we miss this fortitude and overlook the challenges we have overcome through the process of training. To train effectively builds the confidence in ones abilities and capabilities and this internal strength is what athletes use to elevate their performance.