Have you ever had the experience of going into a game or race feeling great, only to look over and get psyched out by your competition? You could be feeling supremely confident and then you look over and see the other team looking good as they warm up or look over and see that one of the fastest racers decided to show up to the race and BAM! Your confidence decides to take a nosedive from supreme into despair.
Some athletes wonder whether or not they should be paying attention to the competition before they compete. One the one had, it might give you some information about tactics or an understanding of what you need to do in order to accomplish your outcome goals. On the other hand, it could just psych you out and have you performing worse than if you had just focused on yourself and your own performance. It all depends on how you internalize what you see … do you watch the competition and use that information to better your performance … or do you watch the competition and use it to sabotage your performance?
Listen to the Mental Training Tips podcast to learn whether or not you should be focusing on your competition before your event.