WAC Magazine

June | July 2014

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24 | Washington Athletic Club Magazine | JUNE / JULY 2014 W hen it comes to getting ready for competition, your mental preparation means more than you might realize. I often call this the "game within the game." If you have been a competitive athlete at all in your life, you can probably recall a time when your mental state caused you to perform better or worse. What you might not realize, however, is that you can achieve peak performance more consistently through mental preparation. As a sport psychology consultant and mental trainer, I often ask athletes to consider the best and the worst games they ever played. After they've done this, I ask them what they think the differences were between the two. Was the other team flat-out better, more fit, or coached by a genius? Almost always, the answer is none of those things. Instead, people often look internally. Talking about their worst performances, they point to anxiety, fear, or a lack of focus. e words differ, but the meaning is essentially the same: It was a "mental thing." My next question is this: How much time do you spend practicing the mental game? Whether we're talking about sports or business or personal affairs, if your answer to this question is "no time at all," then it's time to rethink your approach. Wellness By Mike Margolies, Sport Psychology Consultant I 'm not a swimmer, but one of the most valuable presentations I ever attended was delivered by swimmer Matt Biondi on the deck of Helene Madison Pool here at the WAC. Do you remember that name? Matt won five gold medals in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He was the Michael Phelps of his day. Matt came to the Club to give a clinic to our master swimmers. Before he got in the water, he spelled out for the group those mental qualities he'd learned and mastered that enabled him to have the success he did. He went on to make the point that after mastering these qualities for his swimming career, he knew he had a skill set that would translate into success with other future endeavors. He was a magnificent speaker and had everyone on the deck hanging on his every word. Sport psychology consultant and author Mike Margolies also under- stands the importance of the mental component of sports performance. In this issue's Wellness article, Mike outlines the five mental skills that can help everyone improve their game and their life. Tamela Thomas, Wellness Manager tamelat@wac.net 206.464.4639 What it takes to succeed Win the mental game How to prepare your mind for competition and success

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