November 02, 2018 By BridgeAthletic

Combatting a Negative Training Environment | BridgeAthletic


Winning Mindset

A winning mindset starts with confidence and control. Adherence is the most important factor in training.
Mind before muscles - breaking down mental blocks.
Through confidence and control, your client will create a positive relationship with exercise.
To get them here, first identify their blockers.
Anxiety can develop quickly. It is worry that continues to build up. Anxiety can range from failure and an innate fear of not being accepted. However, a main reducer of anxiety is (of course) exercise. It reduces both long-term (chronic) and short-term (acute) anxiety. So if a client is feeling anxious, talk to them about the positive effects of exercise on anxiety.
We've all experienced the "I can't do this" thought. The "I don't like this" mindsets are just phrases making it harder for us to accomplish goals. So when a client is using phrases like this - try to help them get back to positive thinking. Remember: Mind over muscle. If the mind is saying "I can push through", the muscles will follow because everything is being controlled by the minds message.
"Negative and antagonistic feelings and emotions can impair the development of an exercise habit, especially for novice performers. The problem with negative thinking is that it results in low effort and sets up the individual to fail." - Human Kinetics
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The better you are at detecting negative thinking, the better source of support you can be for your client. Here are some examples of negative thinking that cause barriers for exercise:
  1. Lack of Confidence
    ex: "I don't think I can do this."
  2. Pessimism
    ex: " I'll never lose weight."
  3. Self-Criticism
    "I can't even do a push up, why would I do that."
  4. Intimidation
    "I don't fit in with the others in the gym."
  5. Impatience
    "I have been doing this for 3 weeks and still get so winded."
  6. Irrational Thinking
    "I've always looked like this, why change now?"
To combat these kinds of thinking, schedule one on one meetings with your client to discuss goals, improvements and habits. A way to combat negativity from creeping in is to increase activity and improve nutrition. Creating a routine with your client will keep them accountable while allowing them to communicate barriers will help you develop a structure that works for their schedule.
Embrace Failure
Failure happens to all of us at some point. It needs to be a tool to help you learn and improve. Emphasis this to your clients. Facing failure when hoping to progress can be hard to overcome, especially for people who are at a novice level. The last thing you want is for your client to feel unworthy of physical activity and give up.
So, how can you prevent this when they are faced with failure?
First and foremost. Learn from the mistake.
Bad habits form when making the same mistake repeatedly. If you are still running into the same trouble after trying to make change, break down what is going wrong.
Sometimes trial and error is all you can do when trying to find a solution.
This can be applied to both you and your client. If you're having trouble developing training plans, keep trying to figure out what you can do to improve or find a new source of information. Breakdown what your main problem is and generate multiple solutions for it. If your client is making mistakes, walk them through what went wrong and how to avoid it. Every session should be a learning process.
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About the Author


At Bridge, we are all athletes and coaches first. As athletes, our team has experienced everything from riding the pine on JV, to winning NCAA championships, to competing in the Olympic Games. As coaches, we have helped countless athletes reach their full potential, winning everything from age group section championships to Olympic Gold Medals.

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