• The Mental Warm Up

    By The W10 Team

    Most athletes recognise the importance of warming up. Even the casual Sunday league footballer will display a show of jogging or touching of toes before kick off in the knowledge that by doing so he will perform better and reduce the risk of injury, to a degree. However, warming up is more than just a physical process, performance is also increased by mentally and emotionally warming up.

    This process may begin a few days in advance of an event or even 5 minutes before but mentally attuning is a skill that should to be developed and strengthened.

    In contrast, lets compare those occasions in which you may have been running late and focussing on traffic or another external factors and upon arrival had to get immediately involved. Even if you are physically warm from jogging to the destination, in those first 5-10 minutes you’re usually distracted and sub maximal performance ensues.

    Preparation is mental as well as physical.

    So what should be focussed on when mentally attuning to an event or training session.

    Venue - The place where you are to perform. Familiarity has a huge impact on performance and when attending a new venue distractions or external factors are in abundance. Mentally familiarising yourself with the venue beforehand will help attune your thoughts. Visualise your performance within the venue beforehand. If it’s a new venue get there early and visualise before or whilst warming up.

    In 1982, the West German football team played England at Wembley. Not only did the organise a training session on the day before but also had a mock “Wembley Roar” playing on the speakers throughout. This familiarisation of venue is nowadays common practice for the elite athlete.

    Your Self - Your thoughts and feelings probably vary more on a day to day basis than your physical sensations. A golfer may spend his time at work thinking about his putting last week and spend his time on the green thinking about a deadline with work. For the majority of the time people are unaware that their thoughts are not present. Distracting thoughts are best recognised and put to one side to be addressed at a later time.

    It is also important to tune to a certain level of emotion that is appropriate to the task at hand. For a powerlifter that level will be different to a ballet dancer and depending on the person and day, one level could be harder to achieve and maintain than another. The ability to tune in to that appropriate level is a key ability in mental toughness.

    Other People - Performance is also affected by your relationship with other people, whether it’s opponents, teammates or coaches. Tuning in or getting on the same wavelength is a tricky process as one can easily benefit or hinder another. Recall a situation in which you were training well and by interacting with someone else you lost that focus you obtained, or a time another person has helped you attune to an appropriate mindset. By a shared conversation a collective group can provide an environment suitable for high performance.

    Purpose - Why are you there? The most effective thought process to ‘tune in’ is recalling why you are in the situation in the first place. Recalling long term objectives, the importance of the current training or event and it’s place on the path to your goal is incredibly motivating. Effective goal setting is crucial to this. Focusing on mastery and process goals, such as your technique, helps lower the pressure associated with outcome goals (personal best’s and medals) and ultimately leads to a long term commitment.

    Author: Adam Dehaty.


You Might Also Like

Quick Browse
    • Hydration how much water should I drink

      Water: How much should you drink a day?


      A bit like nutrition, we’ve heard it all before when it comes to the importance of hydration, but it keeps being highlighted for very good reason – hydration is key for all of us (and sometimes it's good to be reminded of this) Hydration plays a pivotal role in both fat loss and muscle gain,

      Read More
    • 6 common ways to get injured in the gym

      Six Most Common Causes Of Gym Injuries


      Unless you subscribe to the fantasyland of diet pills and six pack shortcuts, then consistency, enjoyment and effectiveness are going to be the three pillars your exercise programme needs for it to be successful. Injury however, is a sure fire way to screw up all three of these in one foul swoop. It doesn't have

      Read More
    • Health and fitness magazine feature strong in 6 moves

      Strong in 6 moves | Health And Fitness Magazine Feature


      In the first of a new series of workouts from top PT's, trainer Amy Darch offers a time-saving, total-body workout Do you seem to spend hours in the gym and still not see the benefits? You need to take your workout back to basics with a more targeted approach. Enter Amy Darch, trainer at London’s

      Read More
    • Is W10 the right gym for you

      Is W10 the right gym for you?


      We often get asked why W10 is different to other gyms. Our intention is not to blow our own trumpet here or to rubbish other gyms, that’s not how we roll, but we do want to offer a little insight in to what we do. You can decide for yourself if it sounds “different” to

      Read More
    • W10 Ibiza training camp

      W10 5-day fitness retreat in Ibiza


      Thank you to everyone who came along to our 5-day fitness retreat in Ibiza last month, what an amazing trip with a great bunch of people.   This was our last "adventure club" of the year but if you missed out this time, don't worry, there will be many more...such as our Mount Kilimanjaro adventure

      Read More
    • Getting your first dead hang chin up

      Why you should aim to get your first strict chin up


        There are many benefits of chin ups (done properly). We could go on about the importance of this exercise all day, but we’re going to give you the top 5 benefits and also a few tips on how to progress up to them. Working towards getting your first strict, dead hang chin up is

      Read More

Start Your 30 Day Trial Today

If you’re ready to make a change, you can start now. Register online and book your first session today.

Start Today

Set up in 2009 by founder Jean-Claude Vacassin (a regular health and fitness contributor to the Daily Telegraph) the W10 Performance gym is located in West London at 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN. W10’s Gym memberships offer personal training, nutrition advice, yoga, boxing, HITT and other functional fitness classes. They also have physio and sports massage practitioners onsite. They are proud to offer a high level of fitness to residents and local workers in Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, Queens Park, Willesden, Kilburn, Harlesden, Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, Kensington and Westbourne Park areas.


Find us The Basement, 202-208 Kensal Road, London W10 5BN

Call us on 020 3489 5428