Archive for the 'Mental Preparation' Category


“Comfort Zone” Training

Today as I was reflecting on all of the athletes we train at 368, I began thinking about what it is that allows them to perform at such a high level. Athletes with personal trainers, strength coaches, or whatever you would like to call us, generally perform at a higher level than those who don’t. This is simply how it is in almost every sport. But the question I kept pondering on was what about having a trainer is it that propels an athlete to that next level…

  • Correct program design (correct exercises, sets, repetition, ect.)
  • Being taught proper form and technique
  • Modifications based on athletes current circumstances
These are three things a strength coach does for an athlete that are all very important to his/her success, but the one thing that any effective trainer does for an athlete is pushing them OUT OF THEIR COMFORT ZONE!
In regards to mind-body training, the only way to continuously get better is to push your body to it’s threshold, and your mind past it (out of your mental comfort zone). Whether you are talking about another rep, more weight, or more time for an exercise, your body, at that time, can only handle what it can physically handle. Sounds like common sense, right? There is more to it…
Your mind has unbelievable control over your body, and what it wants or THINKS your body can do. If you allow yourself to THINK that one more repetition can’t be done, or 10 more seconds is too long, than you have voluntarily given up, even if your body could physically go further. Everyone knows that having someone there verbally supporting you will generally give you that push you need to go a little further…but a personal trainer, or strength coach, is not the only answer.
If you train your mind to perform just one or two more repetition, even though your body FEELS like it can’t, and do this every single time you train, you will begin to experience the benefits of “comfort zone” training. I can guarantee your strength will never plateau, and your endurance (strength and cardiovascular) will continuously increase. Above all training and sport related benefits, you will be strengthening and preparing your mind to triumph over any of life’s many obstacles.
Here are a few quotes to reflect on…
“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”
– Andre Gide
*”Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.”
-Newt Gingrich
Train out of your comfort zone now, reap the benefits later…
Andrew Simpson
368 Athletics

Are you mentally tough?

What does being mentally tough mean? Coaches say it all the time, we have experienced it ourselves, and we see the lack of it all the time. Sports psychologist work with athletes to help them obtain it. I can only speak from experience because there have been times I have had it and times I have not. Why does this happen? We can only answer that within ourselves.

Mental toughness is one of those areas that has broad examples of scenarios. In one scenario you may say someone has mental toughness if they are able to play a football game while they have a broken ankle. Another example could be getting through a training session when you feel like you cannot go anymore. Maybe someone close to you dies and you have to find strength to keep going. Regardless of the reason we all need mental toughness and it is something that may not come natural.

Just like anything we do in life, in order for us to become proficient we must practice, practice, and practice again. What I am saying is that mental toughness can be learned if you do not already possess this necessary trait.

Each time you have a deadline to meet and you persevere to get it done, you have shown mental toughness. When you train and raise your level of intensity you get out of your comfort zone. This can lead to better fitness results and increased mental toughness. The reason professional athletes and Olympians are the best at what they do is because they eat, sleep, and breathe success in their chosen sport everyday. The discipline and mental toughness required to accomplish their goals is something we can all learn from.

How did Lance Armstrong accomplish so much in cycling? Yes, he is controversial but the feats he accomplished are astounding! Look at Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player to ever play the game. He says because he failed is why he succeeded. How many of us are willing to work that hard? What about Pete Sampras who spent 286 weeks at number #1 in the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals). Another example is Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps winning 8 gold medals in one Olympics. These are all professional sports stories but the list can go on and on in the business world as well.

The fact is, all of these athletes have shown a large amount of mental toughness, discipline, and focus to get them to the highest level. What level do we aspire to get to? How hard are we willing to work to get there? Only we can look inside of ourselves to answer these questions.

The next time when we are meeting a deadline, competing during an event, creating goals, or looking to improve our quality of life we must remember, mental toughness is essential and necessary for us to play the game of life at the highest level.

Let’s start today.

Train strong,
Shannon Wallace, Jr.


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