“In order to succeed your desire for success should be greater than your fear for failure" Bill Cosby
Fear, lack of confidence and lack of trust under a heavy barbell, will leave you in more times than not, stuck at the bottom of a squat with the need to bail. Sometimes (rarely) that fear will override everything and you will find the will to push out of it, but the risks involved could take a toll on your body, and on top of that, drain your confidence even more. This is one of the most common issues athletes have with squatting heavy. Can your mental strength really effect you that much? YES! There are ton of ways to overcome this fear and lack of confidence. Here are a few I have used.
Pick "IT WORDS"
These are words that you say repeatedly when you start to have this fear. For me "I can, I will" is what I repeat over and over again. When it is something really intimidating for me (muscle up) or really heavy (dead lift and squatting) I have a different set of words that are slightly more intense and inappropriate :) "You F'ing got this" usually yelling at myself over and over again helps to block out any negativity and control my thoughts. I know it sounds stupid...but it works :)
BE confident and forceful when you lift the bar out of the rack.
If you unrack the bar softly and not tight, it is going to feel like the whole world is sitting on your back. This will just set yourself up for a lack of confidence immediately. Try taking a big deep breath, activate your core, set yourself nicely under the bar while saying your chosen "IT WORDS" and drive the bar out of the rack without any hesitation.
Visualize Your Squats. "Your mind doesn't know the difference between what is real and imagined." Dr Maxwell Maltz
It is so important to visualize what you are doing, regardless of your goal. If you visualize yourself under all that heavy weight and going down into your squat and failing, well then you most likely are going to do just that. Instead, visualize your set being successful and powerful and generate the confidence you need. Quit talking with the people around you for at least a few moments before you get up for your set. Visualize what you are about to do and focus on your "IT WORDS". Don’t compare yourself or your squat to anyone else lifting. Stay CONFIDENT. Ask your Coach how it looks and follow what they say. Too many opinions can be just that...too many opinions. Stay your path and follow the coach you trust and everything should fall into place.
Here's to week 2! Great work everyone!