“Lions Don’t Wear Pants”

“Lions don’t wear pants”

And other thoughts I had during today’s workout.

For those of you who don’t know, sports psychology and the mindset of an athlete are topics that have intrigued me since my high school hockey days.  I’ve read countless books on these topics and they have greatly influenced me as both an athlete and a coach.  I feel strongly that the mental side of sports and training plays a huge role in the end result- you better believe I would put my money on the more positive, confident athlete over the negative, insecure athlete any day of the week.

As a coach I work to instill positive coaching with my athletes and help them build appropriate confidence and self talk while training.  I also aim to be attentive to our athletes and gauge where their head is at.  But the reality is you can never know exactly what someone is thinking when they are in the depths of the pain cave mid workout.

Recently I was having a conversation with some of our athletes about how insightful, and probably humorous, it would be if there were thought bubbles over everyone’s head during a workout so we could see what everyone was thinking.

With that in mind, I decided to give you a run down of what I was thinking during one of the workouts I did today.  The workout was:

Every 3:30 for 17:30
Run 400m
Max Rep Strict HSPU in remaining time

3-2-1 GO…

First Round:

First 200m….

“Ok here we go…. Strong and confident, I love running, strong and confident, I love running, strong and confident I love running….”

Second 200m

“Oh man…  really feeling those deadlifts from earlier.  Like shit, my legs are heavvv—Y.  Be cool Katie, you’re just starting.  You got this.  I got this, I got this, I got this…”

First set of HSPU…

“Ok.  Here we go.  You got it.”

*Gets inverted*

Oh yea I got these… no problem.  Oh shit time is up, got 10 not bad.  Yea but you’re scaling by using that little kids abmat.  Who cares, attack the run.

Second Round

400m Run

“Lean and drive, lean and drive, lean and drive… oh man that guy looks like he’s delivering lunch to those ladies- what is it?  I’m so hungry.  What am I going to eat for lunch?  Carbs, definitely carbs.  I want a burrito but that seems excessive… gonna eat good this week for sure.  Lean and drive, lean and drive, lean and drive.  Man my legs are heavvv-Y.  Still three rounds left?  Geez.  Gotta get after those HSPU.

Second set of HSPU…

“Ok I got this.  These are hard but I’m doing them.  Push it Katie, you can do it.  Ugh only 8… two reps less than last time.”

Third Round

400m Run

“Lean and drive, lean and drive.  Recommit Katie, middle round- this is where you gotta recommit and dig in.  I’m a f***ing beast, I’m a f***ing lion, I’m a f***ing beast, I’m a f***ing lion… Yea I’m a lion RAWWRRRRRRR. I’m a f***ing beast, I’m a f***ing lion….

Third Set of HSPU

*Start adjusting my pants*

“Lions don’t even wear pants- you’re a LION, get on the wall!”

*Kick up on wall*

“Dig in Katie, big set- push your limit.  Oh it’s burning.  Keep going.  You got this.  Best set yet, Katie.”

The rest of the workout went on much like this- pretty much me repeating over and over “I’m a f***ing beast, I’m a f***ing lion” until I was done (and a few more wandering thoughts of lunch thrown in there).  As you can see- I’m a big fan of the “mantra.”  I find that when I fill my head with positive thoughts, it keeps me from wandering too far from the task at hand and into a negative space.  But when I do go to that negative space- my legs are tired, I’m only just starting, you’re scaling like a baby (there is nothing wrong with scaling, but the head wanders!) I immediately try to replace that negative thought with a positive one.

We all have our own strategies and struggles when it comes to winning the “mental game.”  If you’ve never tried using a mantra or positive self talk during a workout, I highly encourage you to try it- it might be the difference you’ve been looking for!

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