By energy, I’m talking about what the sport psychology field might call “arousal”- think mental energy, nervousness, or excitement. For example, one might have very low energy after little sleep and no real motivation to complete the AMRAP at hand. Indications you’re experiencing high levels of energy could be a racing heart, rapid breathing, sweaty palms, butterflies, overexcitement, racing thoughts or the inability to focus, and even a narrowed field of vision. Needless to say, this wide range of energy can drastically affect your performance.
Photo from fortwaynesstrengthandconditioning.com
The important thing about energy is to be aware of it in the moment and figure out what level is right for you. Think of Goldilocks: your energy can’t be too high or you might choke, and it can’t be too low or you might be somewhat lethargic. Instead, it must be just right.
The best way to know where your energy level should be during your workouts is to track it. If you did particularly well in one WOD, pick up your logbook and take notes of where your energy level was at. Similarly, if you act like a deer in the headlights, pay attention to where your energy was at- most likely it was too high (maybe from nerves, heart racing, overexcitement, etc). Again, every athlete is unique in his or her ideal level of energy, and many skills require different levels of energy too. The key lies in knowing yourself, and knowing how to manage your energy in the moment. If you can get your energy to the right level, you are set to perform your best.
The Mental Conditioning WOW©:
After each WOD, take notes in your logbook:
-Rate your level of energy during the WOD on a scale of 1-10
-Was this your ideal level?
-How would you have performed if your energy were higher? Lower?
-Make note of your ideal energy level on the 1-10 scale
Next week, we’ll talk about tools to increase or decrease your energy in the moment.