In our previous article here, we spoke about controllable mental factors (CMF) and uncontrollable mental factors (CMF). In part 2, we will be exploring how to increase your CMF rating to its highest possible potential, after all, it is the only part of your mental fortitude that can be prepared.
The key is to prepare as best as you can for all possible situations and scenarios. Everything is rehearsed, practiced and never left to chance. The most conscientious of athletes always seem to get that lucky break but its really because they have been well prepared for anything that may come their way.
Here at FTP, we have identified what can be trained and prepared for under any circumstance and then it really becomes a question of how detailed you want to prepare for unforseen scenarios. It all begins with asking the 5Ws and 1H. Here are some examples :
- What should I do if I don’t wake up feeling a 100%?
- Why is it that I am cramping halfway through my match?
- When should I start taking my nutrition?
- Who should I turn to when i’m facing issues during training?
- What should I do if I begin stitching during a run?
- How should I overcome these obstacles?
By simple reasoning and logic, the coach or the athlete can then create scenarios that must be practiced.
During my sessions with the Singapore national tennis team, I use fitness drills to create specific moments in the game. These guys hit tons of balls every single day and sometimes we throw a little change their way by inserting physical work into their training. Sprints followed by planks then burpees and recovery slow jogs simulate their actual physical conditioning during a match and all of this prepares them for the worst.
We tell all of our athletes to prepare for the worst and this means scenario based training is very much involved. Cycling till an athlete hits the wall and allowing for nutrition to be consumed after simulates a real race scenario that affects many triathletes while stretching points or training sessions on the tennis court before allowing for carbohydrate replacement is also another example of scenario based training.
While many athletes are good technically in what they already are good at, very few practice scenarios and this is where FTP steps in to ensure that the athlete is prepared as best as they can be.
In Part 3, we will be exploring different scenario based training sessions for a few selected sports. Stay tuned.
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