Mindset is the established set of attitudes held by someone. Your mindset can help or diminish your performance during competitions.
Mental Skills is the set of learned skills that help athletes regulate thoughts, feelings, and actions during practices and competitions.
Mental Training is a section of Sport Psychology that focuses exclusively on teaching mental skills to enhance athletic performance. Athletes will learn skills to help them cope with performance anxiety, change thoughts and beliefs, train the physical and emotional reactions to stressors, manage anger, manage time, improve concentration and focus, and other skills to help athletes deal with obstacles during their career. Athletes who train their minds can perform the best of their abilities more consistently.
Mental health is a term used to define cognitive, behavioral, and emotional wellbeing. Mental illness can affect relationships, physical health, and daily living. For years, some professionals believed that athletes who score high in anxiety trait, depression, neuroticism, or other signs of psychopathology would be unsuccessful in sport. Today, we know it is not true. If an athlete is dealing with mental issues, correcting pathology and dysfunction can improve the athlete’s wellbeing, and the performance level can be restored to previous levels if it was affected at all.
Mental Toughness is a personality trait that determines in large part how people deal with challenges and pressure independent of existing circumstances. Mental Toughness is NOT macho domineering, aggressive behavior. Mental Toughness IS the best you can be comfortable in your own skin, accepting that life can be difficult, but it is full of opportunities as well as threats.
Biofeedback equipment is used to help athletes understand and manage thoughts and emotions associated with competition and control the activation levels to perform to the best of their abilities. By becoming aware of the physiological processes (biological feedback), athletes can choose the responses that were previously automatic.
Mental training professionals who have specialization in sport psychophysiology will integrate training tools that challenge athletes’ perception of the situation, help athletes to choose different actions to change a situation, and help athletes become aware of automatic physiological responses to stressors. So, athletes can choose thoughts, behaviors, and manage their physiological responses to maximize performance.
The goal is NOT to achieve the “ideal mental” state to perform; the goal IS to perform well under “any emotional state.”