Mental preparation is very hard to practice. Usually this where the difference lies between the pro and the amateur. You may have a solid body, a healthy lifestyle and can withstand the north pole but when it comes to mind game it is totally a different stage.
I might say mind game is the 80% reason why people like Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods always be no.1. The way they think and the way they react to mind game is different than anyone else. Its a prove that no matter how things look bad on them, they will always be in the end no.1. I really admire both of them.
To train your mind require a lot of practice and match experience. Otherwise physical preparation doesnt require you to experience playing with other people in order to be physically prepared. Usually it takes up to 3 years to actually train your mind to be ready. But this all depend on the person itself. Some are fast learners while others just take too much time to understand.
Ok now i'll explain one by one every part of the mental preparation:
A. Thinking Mentality
Thinking mentality can be divided into 2 categories; Positive and negative.
In order to achieve victory we must know how to use the power of positive thinking as well as negative thinking. I know some of you though that all you need is to be positive. No its not true. You need to be negative at the same time. Use the negative energy into your advantage.
Every time when im in a tourney, i never expect myself to win. In my mind i always expecting myself to lost! I know its hard for many people to believe this but this is what i always think. Because i always expect myself to lost i fight back and play harder than usual. By using this negative thinking im forcing myself to not allow any mistakes to happen. This in the end will generate more positive than the negative.
Positive thinking is more like the power of faith. You must have faith in whatever you do. Doesnt matter the outcome of your match, you must have faith in yourself. You must believe that you can do the impossible. If you believe you can do it, you can do it!
B. Pressure and Nervous
This is where many people fail to adapt. This is where big names can fall. The pressure. The horror...
Handling pressure and nervous is a very difficult thing to do. Even when i play someone in a very pressuring match, my whole body will definitely be nervous! Although not many people can see that but the truth is i shake! I shake my leg,my hand and my body (No its not a lyric from a song.)
One of my tips to handle pressure is to control your breathing. Because in such a tension we need more oxygen than ever. With all the adrenaline rush the heart will definitely pump faster than normal. So you need more oxygen. So breath. Breath in... breath out... breath in... breath out... then push! push! and we have a baby! (Joking!)
But actually i'll always forgot to breath too. What i do is sing a song! Yup i sang songs while playing. By actually singing you can actually help your breathing as well. If you sing motivational song it will increase your spirit to compete better. I sing as loud as i can just that i dont let my opponent hear if not later he get inspired as well and im dead!
Attitude is part of ethic and who you are actually. Its your core heart and personality. Some people play with a very shy manner. Some people like to brag everytime they score. While some just cant face defeat and run away when they lost.
So what is the right attitude to win? The right attitude is to be as gentleman as possible. If you win, shake your opponent hand and smile. If you lost, shake your opponent hand and smile(with tears if you cant take it). If you score goals, enjoy it but do not overdo. If you conceded, admit your mistake and move on. Do not look back.
Having the right attitude keep you positive in all way. Do not intimidate your opponent by shouting at his face or showing some amazing finger movement. Because in the end it will fire back to you if you fail to beat your opponent. And believe me get fire back is more hard to handle than normal pressure.
Doesnt matter if you are winning or losing, the right attitude will always make you the winner in the end. Although people say nice guy finish last, then the last is the champion spot. ^^
Im not talking about ghost(spirit) here. And please do not use those dirty trick as well. The spirit is your spirit. Your self believe, your emotion and your passion. Spirit is very important. Its part of patriotism. Many people willing to die for their country because of patriotism.
Before you join a competition, you need to cleanse your spirit. You need to have clear mind and at the same time high enthusiasm and passionate in the game. If your mind is full of other things beside the competition, most probably your chance to win is slim. You need to be focus and concentrate in the competition. The only way is to have a clear mind in what your objective is. Clear mind,high spirit and passionate, thats the key to success.
This are the basic part of the preparation. Although its basic, its vital to master it because without the basic you are always expose to mistakes.
So be prepared! ^^
Do you guys have your own motivation song? I have a few. One of it is " I Believe I Can Fly" ^^