Self-Awareness in Athletes

17 Nov 2023
3 min read
Author – Vedika Jogani

A recent graduate from Ithaca College with a Master’s degree in Sports and Exercise Science, specializing in Mental Performance, Vedika Jogani is OMP’s Product and Content Manager. During her studies, Vedika worked closely with Ithaca’s Men’s and Women’s Tennis Teams and Women’s Volleyball Team as their Mental Performance Consultant. Vedika is currently completing her Certified Mental Performance Consultant Certification.

Ever marveled at how top-tier athletes seem to possess an innate understanding of their game, effortlessly pinpointing their strengths and areas for improvement?

This exceptional ability finds its roots in the realm of self-awareness.

In sport, it’s not merely about acknowledging one’s physical capabilities; it’s about a profound connection with oneself.

Self-awareness goes beyond the surface, involving a keen sense of self-monitoring, emotional regulation, and behavioral correction.

Athletes who are truly self-aware aren’t just attuned to the beats of their bodies; they are intimately connected with their mind. This mental sharpness empowers them to focus sharply, handle stress with grace, and make lightning-fast decisions, setting them apart as true champions in their field. 

Professional athletes have wholeheartedly embraced the power of journaling as a tool for self-reflection, propelling them toward peak performance. Take tennis legend Serena Williams, for instance, who relies on journaling to cleanse her mind of negative thoughts and emotions.

Likewise, Irish track and field Olympian Roisin McGettigan attests, “I could track my progress, discern what strategies yielded results, and identify areas needing improvement. It became my compass, revealing if I overestimated my training or missed crucial signs of fatigue.” 

In the expansive realm of sports psychology, research illuminates the transformative impact of self-awareness. It sharpens focus during high-stakes games and rigorous practices, fostering an intrinsic motivation that propels athletes toward personal growth.

This heightened self-awareness isn’t just a mental exercise; it’s a game-changer, enhancing cognitive abilities and shaping behaviors. Athletes in tune with their inner selves exhibit exceptional clarity and control over their thoughts, empowering them to navigate challenges with unyielding resilience.

Through the art of journaling, these athletes craft a path to excellence, transcending the physical arena to conquer the mental and emotional facets of their athletic journey. 

Practices that help build self-awareness:  

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Engage in mindfulness meditation practices. These exercises encourage you to focus on the present moment, your thoughts, and your emotions without judgment. Regular practice enhances your ability to observe your thoughts and feelings objectively, fostering self-awareness. 
  1. Journalling and Check-Ins: Start a journal where you jot down your thoughts, emotions, and experiences. Writing allows you to reflect on your day, your reactions, and your decisions. Over time, patterns in your behavior and emotions become clearer, aiding in self-discovery. 
  1. Seek Feedback: Ask for feedback from trusted friends, family, teammates and coaches. Sometimes, others can provide insights about your behavior and attitudes that you might not have noticed. Be open to constructive criticism; it’s a powerful tool for self-awareness. 

Cultivating self-awareness is an intricate journey that matures with time and practice. Explore the nuances of journaling strategies with the guidance of Dr. Andrea Wieland through the OMP app and immerse yourself in guided meditations crafted by world-renowned sports psychologists and mental performance coaches.

Remember, take a moment to check in with yourself, reflecting on your performances as a pivotal step toward profound self-awareness and personal growth. 



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