“It’s 90% Mental…”

If you’re a serious athlete, you probably already know the importance of having a strong mind set. In CrossFit, at least with myself, I feel training your mind is just as important as your physical training.

“It’s 90% MENTAL, then everything else comes after…” That’s what my coach/husband used to say.

I love to read articles online and to constantly educate myself. If it’s not already obvious what my interests are, my main search topics range from CrossFit, fitness and nutrition to breastfeeding, parenting and all things baby-related. But one topic I have been extremely interested in since I started CrossFit is mental strength. Being mentally strong for training, life AND motherhood!

There are many ways to train and to gain mental strength or be mentally strong. There are even specific daily exercises you can do to help you overcome mental blocks. You can train your mind to be better in staying positive, working better under pressure, how to approach competition stress, and many others aspects. Three aspects of mental strength that I struggle with or always work towards improving are:


  1. Know what you need to focus on. Understand what it is you need to work on and bring all your focus to the task at hand; whether it’s a WOD, a lift or a skill you are working on.
  1. Use cue words. Whenever I am about to lift a heavy barbell or I am struggling in the middle of a tough WOD, I have certain cue words I say to myself: “Pull and squat!” “Light weight!” “You got this!” “One more rep!”
  1. Mental imagery. Visualize yourself lifting the weight or completing the WOD. Imagine the movements you have to go through. Visualize how great it feels once you complete the WOD.
  1. Focus on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on their own journey. The less time you spend worrying about everyone else’s progress the more time you have to improve yourself.
  1. Focus on day-to-day success. Stay completely focused on what you have to do in training for the day. Don’t worry about mistakes or misses from the day before. Don’t stress about what you have to do tomorrow. What you have to do in training today is the only thing you should be thinking about.


  1. Stop second-guessing yourself. The more you do the more you set yourself up for failure.
  1. You might not have confidence in a specific movement or WOD but have the confidence in your ability to learn and improve from it.
  1. Have confidence in your ability to progress.


  1. Eliminate the self-limiting talk. Don’t walk in so sure that you “can’t do it”. By thinking and saying that you have already set up limitations for yourself.
  1. Our biggest limiter is ourselves. When you train without limitations, you will probably surprise yourself and do something you didn’t know you could do.
  1. Control negative emotions and thoughts and learn to move on from mishaps..

There are many online resources and blogs covering mental training and how to get “mental toughness”. Just Google “CrossFit” and “Mental Strength” and you will stumble across millions of articles.

My favorite is the amazing Dawn Fletcher. Check out her website www.fletcherfitness.com and www.mentalitywod.com for great tips and advice to continue to grow as an athlete and build a stronger mindset.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s