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View Full Version : Taking things to the next level and self doubt



BigTallOx
11-30-2010, 10:25 AM
As I'm trying to take my strongman performance to the next level, I'm getting to the point where I think mental issues are holding me back more than strength/endurance/performance issues. Part of it I think is because as a kid I never really played sports, I was a computer geek, so now sometimes I start thinking about what I'm actually doing ( and starting to at times actually do some of it quite well ) but my mind goes "Holy crap, I can't believe I'm doing this" and then that thought goes to other thoughts that prevents optimal performance. Almost every time I pick a heavy yoke or farmers this happens, even when it's a weight/distance I've done before. Once the weight is loaded on me, negative thoughts enter... "holy crap that's heavy", "how am I ever going to go 100 feet with this", "crap that's going to suck picking again after I drop it", "man my hands hurt"... horrible aweful stuff like that. I try to push these thought away, but I'm not very successful at doing it. If anybody has any tips for things they've done to overcome such issues, please share, it'll be appreciated.

KoSh
11-30-2010, 10:33 AM
Use all of that as motivation. The weight hurts your hands? Well I wouldn't let it hurt my ego too. The weight feels heavy? So does the burden on my conscience of not finishing.

Turn it around.

Kevin K
11-30-2010, 10:48 AM
I get this too sometimes. You sound like me, powerlifting is the first sport I ever really got into. Sometimes you got to light a fire under your ass and talk **** to yourself. Take a look at the other competitors and think if they can do it why in the hell can't I. If you start thinking that you will fail with a weight/event, you can think of that particular thing as your hurdle to overcome to become better. You can also bust a couple of ammonia caps under your nose, that also helps too:)

joey54
11-30-2010, 10:54 AM
Do you practice meditation or yoga?

BigTallOx
11-30-2010, 11:03 AM
Do you practice meditation

I'm starting to.


or yoga?

Yes.



You can also bust a couple of ammonia caps under your nose, that also helps too:)

I haven't tried that with any of the strongman stuff. I'll give it a try and see if it makes a difference.

joey54
11-30-2010, 01:05 PM
Good. I was thinking those things would help to provide a calmness.

ffkjj
11-30-2010, 02:41 PM
You just have to fight it. I used to do the same thing in other sports but the competitive side in me comes out and I tell my self I do not want to lose and I will die before I stop.

If you yell yourself its heavy, then its going to be heavy. If you tell yourself its not, its not.

vdizenzo
11-30-2010, 03:11 PM
Reading Finding Your Zone by Michael Lardon, M.D.

Tom Mutaffis
11-30-2010, 03:47 PM
If anybody has any tips for things they've done to overcome such issues, please share, it'll be appreciated.

Have you tried doing any long medleys or high rep work to build 'mental toughness'?

Everyone prepares for max effort lifts differently; some people will try to trigger a feeling of anger while others are very calm and focused. Things like energy drinks, music, and good training partners can all help you to push yourself.

I remember when training for Nationals in 2007 I used to watch the Derek Poundstone "Viper" video and admired his level of intensity. Whenever I heard the song from that video it would remind of how he dominated the log press and I would try to mimic that level of energy.

Ermantroudt
11-30-2010, 04:02 PM
Most everyone has those thoughts/fears, understand they are normal and perform

NickAus
11-30-2010, 05:44 PM
It is at that point, when things start to play on your mind (numbers etc) that good athletes believe in themselves and people who struggle to excel shrink away.

Enjoy the mental challenge! Everyone finds it tough once they are actually getting good at something so at least you are at that point and not just cruising.

You have done great so far so keep at it.

BigTallOx
11-30-2010, 06:05 PM
Reading Finding Your Zone by Michael Lardon, M.D.

OK, thanks.

BigTallOx
11-30-2010, 06:10 PM
Have you tried doing any long medleys or high rep work to build 'mental toughness'?

I'm starting to.



Everyone prepares for max effort lifts differently; some people will try to trigger a feeling of anger while others are very calm and focused. Things like energy drinks, music, and good training partners can all help you to push yourself.


I'm calm and focused, getting myself angry doesn't help me, at least it hasn't up to now. Maybe I'll give it a try. My training partners are great, but the negative thoughts still enter. Maybe it's just because I'm still new to strongman.

BigTallOx
11-30-2010, 06:18 PM
Enjoy the mental challenge! Everyone finds it tough once they are actually getting good at something so at least you are at that point and not just cruising.


I think you're right. I enjoy the physical challenge, the mental aspects are just new to me I guess. It may sound contradictory because I have these negative thoughts, but at the same time I really have a very positive attitude toward strongman. I love every second of it, even when the weighs heavy and the negative thoughts start entering in. I just think I'd perform better if the negative thoughts could somehow be replaced with positive.



You have done great so far so keep at it.

Thanks, I have no plans of stopping. :)

BigTallOx
11-30-2010, 06:25 PM
Most everyone has those thoughts/fears, understand they are normal and perform

Hmm, maybe it's that simple, i.e. to just acknowlege the thought is normal and then I can let it go and focus on something positive. Thanks.

BoAnderson71
12-01-2010, 01:52 AM
look into Lou Tice. Great guy for this sort of thing.

theBarzeen
12-01-2010, 08:05 AM
I used to get this a lot as well...... It just took me lots more time under the bar to work through it...... once in a while a really big squat will get in my head ( like my first run at a thousand pounds, before that 900, before that 800) and I'll wuss out and cut the lift high....... it happens. That's why I like to push heavy as often as I can recover from in training. By the time a meet comes around I have had so much practice with that heavy weight I have the confidence to know that I can do it.

Tom Mutaffis
12-01-2010, 08:10 AM
I'm calm and focused, getting myself angry doesn't help me, at least it hasn't up to now. Maybe I'll give it a try. My training partners are great, but the negative thoughts still enter. Maybe it's just because I'm still new to strongman.

Here is a quote from Bill Kazmaier that may be helpful:

"When you smell the breath of the lion and you hear his roar, and you're released from your cage and you take him on, you then know from the pits just what it is like and who is the strongest. And when you look into his eyes - I looked into Sigmarsson's eyes, and O.D.'s eyes - I saw wild animals. I can relate and compare myself to those guys."

Ermantroudt
12-01-2010, 08:37 AM
http://www.amazon.com/Flow-Psychology-Experience-Mihaly-Csikszentmihalyi/dp/0060920432

This link is to "Flow-The Psychology of Optimal Experience-" a really good book about the mental aspect of athletics

mchicia1
12-01-2010, 09:09 AM
You cannot control how you feel...only *how* you act on how you feel. Everyone feels this way in competitive sports. I played 5 years D1 baseball at a very competitive school...Every time I toed the rubber, I had the same exact feelings as you do during your strongman. You just have to choose whether to act on those feelings or not. All you can do.

BigTallOx
12-05-2010, 10:47 AM
Thanks everybody. I've been working on just acknowledging the negative thoughts as normal so I can let it go and then moving on to something positive. It seems to be working. Here I got a farmers PR, 330 pounds 45 feet in about 16 seconds....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8dyCi1B6jI