Mental Skill #4 - Self-Awareness

Explore the power of self-awareness in sports to enhance your performance!

"In sports, self-awareness is not just a skill, it's a superpower"


What is self-awareness?

Self-awareness, in a sporting context, refers to an athlete's ability to recognize and understand their own thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations (how your body feels), and how these factors can influence their performance.

It's about knowing your strengths and weaknesses, your triggers, and your patterns of behavior both on and off the field of play.

Why is self-awareness so important to being a high performer?

  • Performance Improvement: It allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses, focus on areas that need improvement, and set realistic goals.

  • Emotional Regulation: It allows you to manage a range of emotions, from excitement to frustration, preventing them from negatively affecting your performance.

  • Manage Your Thoughts: It allows you to stop and/or manage overthinking, getting stuck, or negative self-talk.

  • Mental Toughness: It assists in handling pressure and adversity by recognizing stress and employing coping mechanisms.

  • Communication and Teamwork: Helps you understand your role within the team and adapt your behavior to support your teammates and the team’s game.

The benefits of self-awareness

  • Improved Performance: Optimize and enhance performance by tailoring your training and competition strategies to the current situation.

  • Effective Decision-Making: Self-awareness allows us to be more adept at making split-second decisions under pressure by understanding our tendencies so you can adjust strategies accordingly.

  • Resilience: Be able to bounce back quickly from errors, mistakes, failure or disappointment by handling setbacks and adversity.

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Improve mental well-being and performance by recognizing and managing your thoughts and emotions.

  • Enhanced Team Dynamics: Communicate more effectively with teammates and coaches for better team cohesion.

"Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom"


How do you develop self-awareness?

  • Reflection: Reflect on your performance. What were you thinking, what feelings and emotions did you experience?, Organize your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and how your body felt by journaling or discussing experiences with a coach or mentor.

  • Mindfulness: Practice mindfulness to become more present and aware of your thoughts and emotions. Use this information to make adjustments to your performance.

  • Goal Setting: Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals to focus on your development and track progress. Progress will build confidence!

  • Self-Assessment: Regularly assess your skills, abilities, and progress to make adjustments to your training and performance strategies.

  • Feedback: Seek feedback from coaches and teammates for an objective perspective on your performance. This can also help you make adjustments to your game.


Self-awareness is the mental skill many of us do not think about or consider. It is often the silent force behind many great athletic success stories. It's the secret weapon that enables you to perform at your best when it matters most…. those pressure packed moments that lead to greatness. Whether you're a seasoned pro or an aspiring athlete, honing your self-awareness skills can be the key to unlocking your full potential. Remember, in the pursuit of excellence, knowing yourself is half the battle.

Key Take Aways

  1. Performance Enhancement: Self-awareness is not just about understanding yourself but also about using that knowledge to make adjustments to your performance. If you are in tune with your thoughts, emotions, and how your body feels you can make real-time adjustments to optimize and enhance performance.

  2. Resilience and Adaptability: Self-awareness is a cornerstone of mental resilience. If you understand your responses to challenges and setbacks you will bounce back more effectively. You can adapt to change, learn from mistakes, and use setbacks as opportunities for growth.

  3. Long-Term Development: Self-awareness is not limited to a single game or season; it's a skill that contributes to long-term development. It helps you set and achieve realistic goals, prevent injuries, and continually improve abilities over time.

Reflective Moment

Am I actively practicing self-awareness in my athletic pursuits, and if not, what steps can I take to become more self-aware in order to enhance my performance and resilience?

Do you want help building your self-awareness?

For more information or to set up your own session with a Certified Mental Performance Consultant to help you build your self-awareness, click on the button below for a free intro session.