Sport Psychology Tips: How to Overcome Mental Blocks when Motor Racing
Mental blocks can be seriously frustrating
You know what you have achieved in the past and you know what you are capable of. Yet when the pressure is on you continue to make the same mistake. As well as, frustration it can impact badly on your mood and cause you to get very angry with yourself and other people.
When we think of mental blocks, let’s look at an example that students, journalists or writers can have – writers block. When typing up that assignment or article you can be typing away with no problems, then bang, you are lost for words. The harder you then try for the next word or sentence the harder it is to find what you are looking for. So you walk away from the situation and all of a sudden a few minutes or hours later, when you’re more relaxed, the words pop into your head.
Similar things happen for motor cyclists. Perhaps you’ve had a crash or two and your confidence has been knocked and then when you’re in that race situation and you want to perform better you start thinking, thinking some more, overthinking to a ridiculous level, over-analyzing, trying too hard, tinkering with things which simply embed the mental block further into your mind.
But unlike the writer, you can’t jump off your bike and comeback to the race.
So how can you overcome mental blocks when motor racing?
Stop thinking would be my advice. Stop trying to figure out what is going on and simply trust your skills and the countless hours of training and racing that you’ve done. When you consider your best races, I’d imagine that you weren’t in your own head and you just let yourself perform automatically. Is that true for you?
If over-analyzing is not a good strategy to beat that mental block on the race track, what can you do? In my opinion your best plan is to apply mental toughness training strategies such as relaxation exercises, emotional management, self-talk restructuring or focus goals. As well as helping you, breakthrough and overcome the mental blocks, mental toughness training strategies can help you take your performances up a level too – so they are well worth considering.
If performance anxiety and frustration is part of the issue for you as a motor cyclist, it is likely that part of the issue is caused by a lack of trust in your skills. This can be a problem caused by fear of crashing again, fear of injury, fear of failure or perfectionism and trying to ride the perfect race.
The first step is to consider, what are you frightened of when you race? Is it getting hurt or embarrassing yourself? Next, in order to work through the fear, you need to address it by analysing what story you are telling yourself about the fear. It is likely that irrational beliefs are stopping you from racing with a sense of freedom. So what beliefs are setting you up to fail?
If you would like some support to work out the best way to overcome any mental blocks that you have when you’re racing, with one 2 one Sport Psychology Coaching with a Leading Sport Psychologist, David Charlton, based near Newcastle upon Tyne feel free to get in touch.
Online Sport Psychology Coaching is also available.
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