Mental Grit Required
Have you ever wondered how far you can push yourself? Ever wondered how people can consistently achieve amazing things? Mental stamina is more important than we think; we train our muscles but what about our mind?
I am super excited to have had the opportunity to interview elite athlete, Ksenia Dedyukhina; she was the first woman ever to achieve two hundred reps Snatching the 24kg kettlebell in competition……NOT an easy feat! When I asked how she managed to do that she said: “If you want to snatch more, snatch more”. Good advice from someone who has held multiple World Records and is also a multi-time World Champion.
But when we look at the mental part of this sport I have come to one conclusion, practice might get you to the competition of your dreams; but only mental grit will put you on the podium. I have always been strong minded; some might say stubborn, but few realize how important this will become in your life when you face situations that make you “dig deep”. That stubbornness will not let you quit!!! Until I started Kettlebell Sport, I did not realize what the true meaning of what mental grit was. When you are in a 10 minute set with a weight that may be at the max of your capacity; you need to make SURE that you’re mental focus is in tune. If you feel physically dialed in, but you don’t have the mind focused and in the right place this often leads to sub-par performances and ultimate disappointment. So how do you consistently push yourself, “past the point to quit”??
Watch someone in the heart of competition and while they may look like everything is under control; chances are that is far from the truth that is existing inside that individual. No matter who you are, whether an elite athlete or weekend warrior; everyone experiences negative thoughts. Positive and negative thoughts are like yin and yang. Each side exists by virtue of the other. In other words, you cannot have the ups without the down, just as you cannot have success without failure. In order to flex that mental muscle you need to first figure out, what is your motivation?
Everyone whom has ever accomplished something great has had the motivation to want to do whatever that was. In order the ensure that your mind is right on game day you need to continuously tune in to what that motivation is and some words or phrases associated with it to make you remember when the going gets tough. Being pushed into this area of your psyche strips you back to your core essence and is extremely humbling. You may feel exposed mentally, physically, or even spiritually. In situations, like our 10 minute set, the body will do whatever it has in its power to convince you to stop because we are innately hardwired to avoid pain, suffering and extreme fatigue. This is where you need to practice pushing past “the point of quit”.
Visualization techniques, remembering words that bring you back to your motivation and tapping into positivity will keep you on track when fatigue hits. By championing your own theme, resonating with it, and having it define who you are, it will become instinctive and part of you. You will be able to tap into it, even in auto-pilot mode, or during extreme exhaustion. Focus on your motivation and push through the struggle; remember, if it was easy everyone would do it!!
Want to know more about how to flex your mental muscle; join our mailing list at Killah.org to receive updates on the upcoming “Success on Game Day” virtual workshop.
Lisa Pitel-Killah is a Hair Mineral Analysis Expert and Educator, with a background in Functional Medicine. She is a Kettlebell World Champion, Coach and Entrepreneur; and has a passion for guiding people to maximize health, reverse debilitating symptoms and gain energy to truly recognize their full potential. She is a health, wellness and fitness advocate for her clients.