5 Tips for Athletes at Training Camps
Apr 02, 2018
“I succeed on my own personal motivation, dedication and commitment. My mindset is, if I am not out there training…. Someone else is”
- Lynn Jennings, American Long Distance Runner
Training camps for athletes are an intense experience; physically, technically and mentally that can set the tone for the upcoming season. Following our blog “6 things to consider for training camps” I touched on the importance of creating successful training camps for coaches, so it is only fitting that we prepare athletes in the same fashion.
I meet with athletes two weeks prior to and post training camp in order to set themselves up for success during the camp and after, to review outcomes. I have discovered a few common threads along the way that I continually focus on:
Brainstorm: I encourage athletes to answer this overarching question and let it guide their thought process for the exercise:
‘What do I expect of myself now and what do I expect of myself at training camp?
This is a great question to ask yourself in order to identify, rank or clarify areas that you need to work on, prioritize or place emphasis on over the course of camp. It also can reveal areas that are being overlooked, exposed or continuously neglected. This question may also trigger a mindset of process/outcome based thinking depending on current sport demands, timelines and future outcomes for upcoming competitions. Take some time to think about what you are asking yourself!
5 Tips for Training Camp:
- BE PREPARED! We know that one of the primary sources of confidence is preparation. So take some time to review the following:
- Location of Camp: Are there challenges associated with this? Do I need to travel? What can I do to prepare ahead of time? Where am I staying?
- Time/Duration: Review length of camp, identify purposes for each day, and review with coach & support staff (depending on level of sport, nature of camp and purpose of camp for you at this point in your season).
- Body: Prepare your body. Do you need appointments – physio, massage prior to? Are you doing appropriate work outs prior to camp? Talk to your trainer!
- Food/Nutrition: Are you prepared to take care of your body? Is there anything you can do ahead of time? Meal Planning, Snack Prep, Grocery Shopping?
- Mental Mindset: Where are you mentally heading into camp? Do you need to change anything?
- Goals: Keep goals sport specific!
- Purposeful - we always want your goals to serve a purpose and provide direction!
- Short Term – identify individual goals for each session. Include goals relevant to the role you play on your team or if participating in an individual sport – make sure they are detailed!
- Management – goals throughout camp may change depending on drills, purpose of sessions and coach direction. Be flexible and recognize – it is okay for goals to change!
- Long-Term – how might these small goals support long term goals for your training, competition and seasonal planning?
*Question to ask yourself after you set goals: are they in line with expectations?
- Training: Go out and train! BE PRESENT!
- Routines – use your routines, stick to them!
- Implement Goals – start every session with a goal that you are working on (technical, tactical, mental or physical).
- Adapt & Reset if necessary – in order to stay focused, keep on task and get the most out of your drills, sessions and days!
- Prepare for Challenges: How will you respond when camp gets tough or when you hit your wall? What motivation do you tap into?
- IPS (Ideal Performance State) – continue to prepare, warm up and train in the same way you would to reach our ideal performance state.
- Journal: Take time to use your journal! Always bring your journal! Athletes often ask me – what should I put in there? Journals or training logs are for you! I encourage athletes to track what they did in each session of camp. Don’t hesitate to include activation levels, how you think the training went and reflections on resetting and overall successes. The journal becomes a powerful source of finding confidence when you look back and see how much work you have done!
- 24 Hour Rule: Reflect & Implement. After training camp, take some time to decompress and rest up from the weekend. 1 or 2 days later, review outcomes from camp. Make sure you put them in your journal! Highlight both highs and lows – and make sure to review areas that still need improvement. Make note to include these aspects into your regular training. This exercise provides a great opportunity for you to engage with coach and collaborate regarding you upcoming training that can lend to further performance preparation.
See Below for My Brainstorming Session with how this comes to life in a Blog!
No doubt training camps can be grueling and difficult. They can also be extremely rewarding and telling for some athletes. When it gets tough, find your motivation, find your people and rely on those around you! Remember – you are there to train, for you – and no one else!
Athlete Question: Going into your next training camp – what does a successful training camp look like from your point of view?
As always if you have any questions, please head to the website at www.c4success.ca and send us an email or sign up for our Mental Skills Training for Athletes program!