What is Mindset? Professional Athletes Define Mindset in Sport

What if I told you that the hardest defender of all and the very best defender in the world is the mind itself. Athletes of all levels and ages at some point in their athletic career encounter the challenge of the mind-body connection to sport. Now, even though the mind can challenge our performance and create barriers, it can also be our driving force and biggest strength.

Mindset, plays into this. Mindset, by definition, is a mental attitude or inclination. Now it plays specifically into sport and sports performance in many ways.

“Youth athletes can accomplish anything they want with effort, patience, and the right MINDSET. A growth mindset. A growth mindset translates over into all areas of life,” RISE Athletes wrote. TeamSnap spoke with several professional athletes and elite athletes that are known as MindPower Coaches for RISE Athletes, a mentoring hub and organization based around connecting youth athletes with extraordinary, world class professional athlete mentors.

TeamSnap asked the MindPower Coaches, what does mindset mean to you? The goal here is to help athletes, coaches, and parents better understand mindset and how it relates to sport.

Caroline Burkle | Professional American Swimmer and 2008 Beijing Olympics Bronze Medalist 

“Mindset is how we make sense of the world around us, and our beliefs, thoughts, and feelings all play a part in forming it positively or negatively. All mindsets can shift and change for the better with deliberate practice, and, is always something to work on – for LIFE!”

Maxime Rooney | Professional American Swimmer and  Gold Medalist at the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships

“Mindset is the way we press forward into future endeavors through framing experiences from our past and present. If we have a growth mindset, we will be able to take all that we have learned from our past and present into the future so we may grow. In this way mindset helps facilitate a steady development over our lives.”

Luke Tyburski | Professional Soccer Player turned Extreme Endurance Athlete

“Mindset is how you View, Think, and Act to situations, scenarios, or outcomes on a daily basis.”

Amanda Presgraves | Team USA Triathlete 

“Our mindset is a trainable and evolving set of beliefs in which we perceive our world and self. To me, that means endless, hopeful possibilities as we hold the power to control how we respond and engage with our internal and external environment.” 

We hope that through these various definitions and interpretations of mindset the takeaway is that mindset is always evolving and changeable. In sports, the mental attitude towards certain adversities can be positive and that of a growth mindset or negative and a thought that is limiting. The idea that mindset has the power to be trained means that as young athletes there is so much power in your very own mind to reach new heights.

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