How To Develop An Athlete Mindset To Achieve Your Life Goals

A proper mindset is essential for an athlete to be successful.   It gives him the power to perform consistently at his highest level to be considered an achiever.  


An achiever thinks differently; even if it means separation from his family and peers for some time, he won’t mind because his focus is on achieving his goals.  

How Different Is Different

“Some stress on a person is a normal part of everyday life. This ‘good stress’ called ‘eustress’ can help propel you forward and motivate you to achieve goals.”  Aarti Gupta, PsyD, clinical director said. That is why athletes look at their bodies in a different way than one who frequents the gym just for the sake of maintaining good body figure.   They work out with a higher goal and discipline, not just to achieve the body result that regular gym goers have.  


When you have an athlete’s mindset, your focus is on being the best in your field, not just to be one of the players.  You are also able to calm your anxious mind so that your body can relax, which is of importance when in a competition.


Higher Goal


Olympic athletes have higher goals or else they will never make it to the Olympics.  Their focus is always to Go for the Gold. It inspires them to give their best not only on the actual competition but every practice and every trial game.  They will not put down their flag of competitiveness. They wear aggressiveness to swing from their rock-hard performance to an exceptional one. Aggressiveness is not about hurting the opponent but about taking your performance to the next level by being proactive, assertive, and forceful.  


Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D. often says, “The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.” Achieving this mindset will require you to be prepared physically.  Raising your physical activity and becoming more energetic in your movements is essential if you want to be competitive and aggressive.   Remember, the dwelling place of a sound mind is in a sound body. 


Talking to yourself out loud can help you develop aggressiveness.   Researchers have discovered that self-talk is substantial for your brain as it increases your attention span, allows you to concentrate, and improves your decision-making capabilities. As explained by Dr. Aaron Kaplan, PsyD, Clinical Psychologist, “Research shows that how you think about yourself can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Practice using words that promote feelings of self-worth and personal power. Give yourself a positive pep-talk.”



Discipline builds your character.   It allows you to learn the value of hard work, how to prioritize things, and how to accept defeat.  


The 2008 Olympic individual all-around champion, the world champion on the balance beam for the year 2005 and 2007, and 2005 world champion on the uneven bars, Nastia Liukin, wouldn’t be able to achieve all these if she lacks the discipline to devote her time and effort in mastering her gymnastic skills.  




Discipline is learning to sacrifice TV time, dates, and anything that will take your focus away from your goal.  This one is a bit difficult as you may feel bottled-up, so one way to cope is to reward yourself sometimes.


It is expected that the ball will not always be on your side of the court.  Like any other, you will experience some losses several times in your career, and during this time discipline allows you to not dwell on the defeat.  Instead, you’ll look at it as just part of the experience, a lesson you can learn from, and an opportunity to improve your skills.


A disciplined person values his time and that of others because he is aware that time is of the essence.  It will allow developing the habit of showing up on your meetings not just on time but prepared as well. That way, delays, and other problems can be lessened or avoided.  


Rules are set to be followed.  Having the discipline to obey them will be beneficial to you in the long run.  


Mind setting to higher goals and discipline are not only for athletes.  These two are instrumental in achieving success in all areas of life, be it in sports, business, or whatever career you would want to pursue and you want to be great at.