Athletes need to be aware of their physical and mental strengths and weaknesses and where they need to improve. Athletes need to be mindful of what they are saying to themselves and how their internal thoughts affect their confidence and approach. Athletes need to be particularly conscious of negative thoughts arising from disappointments or errors in past performances that are liable to affect future performances.

Heightened self-awareness comes from being open to ideas and suggestions from other people and from mental training techniques—for example, taking aware the positives from performances, deliberate reflective practice, and time spent preparing thoroughly for different eventualities during competition. Continued use of positive self-talk in conjunction with repetitive practice linked to specific skills development goals will also help increase an athlete’s self-awareness and their confidence in their ability to improve their performance and reach their potential.

Self-Awareness Tips
1 Develop your understanding of what works for you and doesn’t work for you in order to get into your best performance state.
2 Invite feedback and suggestions from coaches and team mates on your physical skills and how you handle yourself mentally.
3 Use video of your performances to help assess your strengths and weaknesses and help develop strategies for future competitions.
4 Evaluate your performance with your coach after training and competition to identify what went well and what you could have done differently and should work on.
5 Be aware of your thought patterns and self-talk at peak/stressful moments in competition and deploy techniques to counter negative thoughts.
6 Take a hard look at your recent performance and identify what you could have done differently.

What experts say

If you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.

Daniel Goleman Psychologist

Anyone coaching or developing anyone ... your first job is to understand them and help them understand themselves.

James Bell Psychologist

Do the SPQ20 and find out how self-aware you are