Take The Test: How Well do You Know Yourself as an Athlete?
🧭 12 MINUTES
A difficulty in dealing with the mental aspects of sport is that they’re not tangible or easily measured. If you want to learn what are your physical strengths and weaknesses, you can go through a physical-testing program that gives you objective data about your physical condition.
Or you can try Prime Sport Profiling and think as it is a physical testing for the mind. It makes mental issues related to your sport more concrete.
It’s important for you to have an open mind with Prime Sport profiling. Rather than being uncomfortable with facing your weaknesses, you should be willing to consider the information in a positive and constructive way. When weaknesses are identified, it doesn’t mean that you’re incapable of performing well.
It may be that you haven’t had to use these skills at your current level or you’ve been able to hide them with the strengths you have. But the information you gain from Prime Sport profiling will enable you to improve and you’ll have a better chance of achieving your goals.
The Prime Sport profile is comprised of 12 mental, emotional, and competitive factors that impact sports performance. To complete the Prime Sport profile, read the description of each factor and rate yourself on a 1-10 scale, then follow the instructions for evaluating your score and developing an action plan to build your strengths and alleviate your weaknesses.
Motivation – How determined you are to train and compete to achieve your athletic goals. (1-not at all; 10-very)
Confidence – How strongly you believe in your ability to achieve your athletic goals. (1-not at all confident; 10-totally confident)
Intensity – Whether your physical intensity helps or hurts your competitive performances. (1-hurts, too anxious or too relaxed; 10-helps, just right)
Focus – How well you’re able to stay focused on performing your best and avoid distractions. (1-distracted; 10-focused)
Emotions – Whether you have control over your emotions and they help you perform well or you lose control of your emotions and they hurt your competitive performances. (1-lose control, hurt; 10-have control, help)
Consistency – How well you’re able to consistently maintain a high level of performance during competitions. (1-not at all inconsistent; 10-very consistent)
Routines – How much you use routines in your preparations including in training, and before and during competitions. (1-never; 10-often)
Competitor – How you perform in competitions as compared to training. (1-much worse; 10-much better)
Adversity – How you respond to difficult conditions you’re faced with during competitions. (1-poorly; 10-well)
Pressure – How you perform in difficult competitive situations, such as when you are behind. (1-poorly; 10-well)
Ally – Whether you are your best ally or your worst enemy during a competitions. (1-enemy; 10-ally)
Prime Sport – How often you achieve and maintain your highest level of competitive performance. (1-never; 10-often)
Using Your Prime Sport Profile
Having completed the Prime Sport profile, you now have a clear picture of what you believe to be the mental strengths and weaknesses in your sport. Typically, a score below a 8 indicates an area on which you need to work. Place a ✅ next to each factor that you scored as less than a 8. These are the factors that you’ll want to consider working on in your Prime Sport program.
From those checked factors, select three to focus on in the immediate future. It doesn’t make sense to deal with every one that you need to strengthen. You’ll just become overloaded and won’t give adequate attention to any of them. It’s best to focus on a few, strengthen them, then move on to others.
The question is, if you have more than three factors on which you need to work, which ones should you choose? The decision should be based on several concerns. First, you should look at which ones are most important for your long-term development. Just like working on the physical and technical aspects of your sport, you should focus on the factors that will help you in the long run. Second, some weaknesses are symptoms of other weaknesses. By dealing with one factor, another one can be relieved without having to work on it directly.
For example, you may not handle pressure well because you lack confidence. By building your confidence, you also improve your ability to handle pressure. Third, you need to balance your immediate training and competitive needs with your long-term development. You may have an important competition coming up for which you need to be ready. For example, you may decide that you need to improve your focus and intensity immediately even though working on your motivation and confidence will be more important in the future.
On a blank sheet of paper, indicate the three mental factors you want to focus on in the near future. By setting goals for the areas you want to improve on and developing an action plan of how to achieve those goals, you can systematically develop the areas you’ve identified in your Prime Sport profile.
You can also use Prime Sport Profiling to measure progress in your training. Periodically, perhaps every few months, complete the profile and compare it with your past profiles. You should see improvement in the areas on which you’ve worked. Also, ask your coaches about positive changes they’ve seen in those areas. When your ratings move to an 8 or above, select other factors to work on and follow the same procedure.