Forget about teasing your competition. If you are looking to outsmart your competitors in the next race or game, consider exciting yourself first. Stress training, a mental technique that simulates the stresses of high-risk competition during training, is the latest tool coaches use to prepare athletes for battle. And for good reason: Research the magazine Sports psychology, exercise and performance It found that when nearly 300 athletes underwent some form of stress training before competition, “they consistently outperformed their peers who did not train under pressure,” says study co-author Billy Lu.
The way push-ups work varies by situation – a coach might put a board in the lead in the locker room, where everyone’s training times are arranged for others to see. Another athlete might post daily Weight lifting on his Instagram account, then forces himself to report the results that evening. Objective: Get used to training in an environment that simulates the pressure of competition over and over again until you are immune to it Game day anxiety.
“In my opinion, coaches should offer push-up training months, rather than days, before the race,” says Low. “Athletes need time to learn stress-handling skills – and then practice them.”
To maximize results, he says, try applying performance-enhancing tools like visualization and positive self-talk while also undergoing stress training. “If athletes were always training in easy conditions, they wouldn’t have to use these methods to get training,” says Lu. “Then once they experience stress in competition, they struggle to refocus or stay positive because they haven’t made those methods a habit.” So go ahead: Drop by and give us 40. Yes, we’re watching.
To access exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, Subscribe to YouTube!