Preseason is upon us. That means high volume work loads and lots of conditioning to get teams back into shape. In other words, two-a-days.
This volume of physical work isn’t easy. Part of what makes it so difficult is the mental fatigue that goes with it. A lot of athletes don’t realize how much their mental game makes or breaks their ability to make it through this time in preseason.
Here are some mental toughness tips to help you crush two-a-days:
Break practices down into chunks to focus on:
Showing up at 8am for the first practice, or walking back on the field at 2pm for round two can feel so daunting. You know how much work you have ahead of you. Staying present and taking each practice one drill at a time helps you feel more motivated and in control.
To do this, for each drill, identify what you need to accomplish. What’s the purpose of this drill? What do I need to do to succeed? Pick out two or three things you’ll focus on to get through that drill with focus and commitment.
Recognize your success and progress:
Yes, two-a-days are hard, but they also lead to some serious fitness gains. Don’t lose sight of that! Take time to reward yourself for the progress you make day in and day out.
To make this particularly poignant, write some notes down in a training journal after each practice. Include what you accomplished and any times, distances, weights, or other numerical markers you have. That’ll help you really see your progress over time.
Get in a routine:
Being mentally tough throughout two-a-days requires you to be focused and ready to work when practice begins.
It also requires proper physical and mental recovery after practice.
Create a routine for yourself that includes:
Pre-practice nutrition, hydration, warm up
Pre-practice self-talk and goal setting
Post-practice cool down, nutrition, hydration
Post-practice training journal notes
With these tips, you’ll be ready to maintain your mental toughness during two-a-days and get the most out of this time of high volume conditioning.