Take a look at high level sport and the top teams often do not have much separating them physically. In the end it often comes down to the team with the mental edge. And just as athletes train their physical skills, they must also train their mental skills. World class weightlifter Mona Pretorius has competed on the international stage in three sports and studied sports psychology. She joins us on this week’s podcast to talk about the mental side of sport and training mental skills.
Notes and quotes
Mona Pretorius is a South African weightlifter and coach. In 2018 she won the African Championships and Commonwealth Games bronze mendal in the 63 kg event. She has competed internationally in weightlifting for more than a decade, and also was a six-time world karate champion and Crossfit Games competitor. As a student she also completed her masters in sports psychology. She is currently living in Romania where she trains towards to 2020 Olympics and helps coach athletes on both the physical and mental aspects of training.
- 3:00 – Mona’s background and motivation through failure: “There comes a time for every athlete when they must decide you have it or you’re just doing the sport to stay fit. “
- 11:00 – Weightlifting for youth athletes, dealing with pressure at a young age, and dabbling in Crossfit.
- 15:00 – Developing an interest in sports psychology.
- 19:00 – Connecting sports psychology to the game and Nick’s experience with sports psychology: “Athletes that are dedicated and willing to do whatever it takes to be successful will seek out everything they can to be that successful. Sports psychology is one of these things. “
- 22:00 – Translating back to the field. “What makes a good sports psychologist is not the theory behind it, but when the sports psychologist can relate to the athlete and the sport. “
- 24:30 – How sport coaches can help with mental skills.
- 27:00 – Mona’s plan for mental skills training before a competition.
- 31:45 – Coaching mental skills and performance profiling: “People often only think about sports psychology only when things go wrong. But just like strength, you can always get stronger. ” “Look at your main goal. What are the mental traits needed to be successful? Then rate yourself and work out the difference to see where the gaps are. “
- 37:00 – What athletes often overlook on the mental side: “We often only focus on competition mental skills since failure is front and center. But you need other mental skills on a daily basis. “
- 40:30 – Nick’s experience and trends in mental skills we see with our athletes.
- 44:30 – How much time to invest: “People need 10-15 minutes a day for mental training. Even if it includes just going over your goals, that will help. “
- 47:00 – Mental training after injuries.
To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.
The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic:
- Join HMMR Plus so you don’t miss all the content on our site, including past episodes of the podcast, our deep article archives, video library, and more. If you like the podcast, don’t miss our latest book Training Talk: Conversations with a Dozen Master Coaches for more in-depth insights on training from some of the world’s top coaches.
- Pretorius is on social media. You can follow her on Instagram (@powerfulpretorius), Twitter (@MonaPretorius) and Facebook (@Mona-Pretorius)
- She also has written extensively on her site about mental skills. We can recommend her 4 Week Mental Skills Workbook. On her blog she has also written about anxiety, goal setting, and more.
- We’ve also looked at different mental skills on the podcast before, including Episode 14 on mental toughness