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The Mental Preparation Checklist


Here is a checklist that will ensure that you are sharp and on your game when you enter the performance arena:

  • Create a mental strategy and execute it. Develop and carry out your mental strategy. Do not focus on results. Do focus on your strategy. Focus only on what you can control, not what you can’t control. 

  • Use imagery and mental rehearsals. See yourself performing perfectly, being in the right frame of mind. Do consistent run-throughs in your head. 

  • Set daily goals. Identify clear daily goals as you move toward the event. 

  • Target your optimal level of arousal. Know in advance your appropriate level of arousal on a scale of one to 10. If 10 is too high, find where you need to be to perform at your best. Practice getting to that state. Use relaxation techniques, CDs etc. to learn to achieve the optimal level of arousal. 

  • Use power self-talk and affirmations. Repeat positive, affirmative statements about the way you wish to perform. Use short specific phrases for maximum impact. 

  • Practice quality, quality practice. Perfect practice makes perfect. Do the right thing in your head first. Be as precise as possible. 

  • Develop and follow a pre-event ritual. Create your own way of self-organizing before a big event. Develop and follow your own pre-event ritual. 

  • Run simulations. Do complete run-throughs, preferably in the environment where the event will take place or in a similar environment. Imagine yourself there. 

  • Make mental preparation part of your overall preparation. As an individual or with a team, incorporate proper mental preparation into your rehearsal schedule. 

Adapted from
Peter Jensen, Ph.D.
The Inside Edge
High Performance Through Mental Fitness

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