We think with our entire body. What we say affects how we feel. How we feel affects how we behave. How we behave affects what we achieve. Thus, we must learn to effectively communicate with our bodies so that we have control over our performance and overall results.

When you and your clients talk positively to yourselves with conviction about things you believe you already have or can have, it works to secure those messages in your subconscious mind, giving you the best shot at behaving positively and realizing positive results. The statements you choose must be clear, concise and, most of all, believable. It doesn’t matter if they are believable to others as long as you believe in them (Bull, Albinson & Shambrook 2002). Examples of positive technical cues:

  • Keep your head up.
  • Push through your heels.
  • Squeeze your abs.
  • Keep your head up.

Examples of positive affirmations:

  • Every day in every way my body gets stronger and stronger.
  • All I am is all I need to make something happen today.
  • I am in control of my destiny, and it starts right now.

Examples of positive intentions:

  • I will attend three yoga classes this week.
  • If I need to, I will take a 3-minute active rest,
    but only after I’ve run for 20 minutes.
  • I will embrace discomfort and perform one
    more push-up in my sets today.

To read more about how mindset affects physical performance, please see “Mental Toughness Techniques for Peak Performance” in the online IDEA Library or in the June 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.


Bull, S.J., Albinson, J.G., & Shambrook, C.J. 2002. The Mental Game Plan. Cheltenham, England: Sports Dynamics.

Haley Perlus, PhD

With a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology, Dr. Haley is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, seminar leader at top sport and fitness conferences, is the consultant to national team and Division I athletes, published author of The Ultimate Achievement Journal and The Inside Drive as well as appointed an Industry Leader by IHRSA. A former elite athlete, Whistler Cup Champion, coach, group fitness instructor and trainer, Dr. Haley is an expert at empowering individuals to achieve peak results.

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