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Developing the Resilient Athlete Mindset

Developing the Resilient Athlete Mindset Dr JoAnn Bullard Sports Psychology Run Tri Bike Magazine

As an endurance athlete, it is natural to strive and push yourself to achieve your goals every day. The main element of being a resilient athlete is developing your mission statement. A mission statement is not just who you are but also identifies your values and how they connect to your training. Do you know your reason for being an endurance athlete and the purpose it fulfills in your life?

Just as a business establishes a mission statement, you should do the same as an endurance athlete! The beauty behind a mission statement is that it helps you connect and re-evaluate your goals.  It allows you to determine who you are as an athlete and understand what keeps you connected and motivated to your sport. It also assists you in clearly identifying what is important to you and the elements necessary to your training goals.

The more self-aware you are, the more efficient you’ll be as an athlete!

Steps to Developing the Resilient Athlete Mindset

  • Give yourself some time! Developing a mission statement could take a few hours or a few days. Please don’t put a time limit on this process. Let it be creative.  Set up a comfortable, relaxed environment…sit outside, turn on music, grab your favorite journal or a cup of coffee. Take a few deep breaths and consider what is most important to you as an athlete.
  • Time to get comfortable with yourself!  Self-reflection and enhancing self-awareness are the primary ways to become a resilient athlete! The beauty here is to learn about yourself. Get to know yourself as a “whole” person. What is important to you? What are your beliefs and values? How do these tie into your sport performance? What boundaries have you established?
  • Create your SWOT analysis. Identify your strengths. Highlight areas in which you need/want to improve. Recognize opportunities. Become aware of potential threats in your path. Be specific with your responses.  Stay open and honest with yourself! 
  • Get down to business. Consider who you are as an athlete. What do you want to accomplish? How do you plan to be a successful athlete? How will you measure your success?
  • Select one of the following writing prompts to help you develop your mission statement: use this prompt. Allow yourself to write without judgment. This statement can be 1-3 sentences in length.
    • “My mission statement as an athlete includes….”. 
    • “For me, being a strong and successful athlete means….” 
    • “The vision I have for myself as an athlete includes…”
  • Nothing is permanent. After you write your mission statement, allow yourself the opportunity to edit and re-write until you feel connected with your message.
  • Put it everywhere! Be proud of yourself! Once you have developed your mission statement, make it available to be seen daily! Stick it on your bathroom mirror, place it at your desk, put it near your workout gear, or make it the home screen on your phone. Allow it to become an integrated part of your day! 

Now that you have your mission statement, I hope you feel empowered! You have a baseline that you can refer to when making training decisions, goal setting, and expanding your performance to the next level! If your choices connect with your mission, you will fulfill your purpose and truth as a resilient athlete!

Need help developing the resilient athlete mindset through a mission statement? Feel free to contact Dr. JoAnne Bullard, Certified Mental Performance Consultant.

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Dr JoAnne Bullard Run Tri Bike Magazine Doctor of Sport and Performance Psychology

JoAnne Bullard is a Doctor of Sport and Performance Psychology and a Certified Mental Performance Consultant through the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

She serves as a tenured assistant professor at Rowan University and is the owner of Absolute Fitness, LLC.  Her goal is to provide a holistically applied approach for clients through performance psychology consulting. She has experience working with athletes of all ages, including endurance athletes, in individual and group sessions.  Her research areas include mindfulness, performance anxiety, goal setting, coping strategies, and mental well-being of athletes.

She has completed five marathons, numerous half-marathons, and is always looking for her next race.