The importance of mental preparation


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The athlete’s mind plays a much bigger role in performance than we would like to attribute to it. And the path is certainly not the activity that breaks the norm, quite the contrary. Super Stamina has become a trend, but what about this development, few are those who master all aspects of it. Besides, is this possible? I’m not sure… On the trails, we leave all smiles in the middle of the night with a very light palette, our shoes on our feet, headlights on our foreheads, poles in our hands, and dozens or even hundreds of jubilant thieves by our side. This is the postcard. Top cow, the signal has been given, lights cross the streets to leave the village on trailers still clean and all smiles before disappearing on the edge of the forest. From there the experience begins and, ironically, everyone together begins to immerse themselves in the depths of themselves alone. Up and down, there will be in the legs as in the head. Don’t worry, this is normal. Or that he who did not have the morale in the sock raises his stick…

Today, we’re talking about mental preparation for runners and coaches, which can be a real advantage!

New decks

Introducing Les Nouvelles Formations (LNF), an organization specializing in e-learning training for mental preparation that told us about its goal: to support athletes and coaches in their quest for excellence by providing them with the necessary knowledge in mental preparation. LNF is the leader in e-learning for mental preparedness in sports in France.

The importance of mental preparation

All coaches see it and all athletes know it: What is at stake in the event affects the athlete’s mind. Loss of concentration, tension, loss of means, doubts, lack of self-confidence, anxiety … a lot of brakes on the satisfaction of the athlete in his performance. And who would not be disappointed if he did not express his level of physical, technical and tactical readiness? In other words, whatever your level, you definitely have enough to progress in managing your emotions in competition thanks to mental preparedness. Running down the aisle has another peculiarity. You’re lonely fast and sometimes for a long time! The super trailer knows it’s going to go through different stages, so it is. The question is how do you make the highs and lows easy to understand?

Mind to save physical training

Baptiste Chassani - 4th Transgrancanaria 2022

I divided the race into 3 moments that I imagined, the first part being the night like Saintélyon, the second part being more technical like the sky race and the end a bit like Western countries.”

Baptiste Chassani – 4th Transgrancanaria 2022


France is not mentally prepared

France and the French speaking countries stand behind their Anglo-Saxon neighbors where the culture of performance spirit is much more than that. We often talk about the Anglo-Saxon athletes who are on D-Day and seem to be challenge-driven. It happens that our French is unbeatable, but this culture of winning and this spirit of excellence is rarely brought up in France. Moreover, what exists as a contradiction in the mathematical approach also applies to companies!

We tackled mental preparation in sports in France because it was a topic that has been kept at a very high level and a very psychological dimension, that all coaches need to know about. » We explain in the LNF.

The coaches are not trained to be mentally prepared

Today, if we face reality, the vast majority of national coaches, clubs or league managers and committees are not trained in mental preparation. Each coach applies methods and practices according to what he believes, and what he knows in terms of training and overall preparation for a sporting event, rather than taking a real approach to mental preparation. And no one could throw stones at them, but now the matter was about their training.

A “game changer” in the service of performance and luxury

What we know today about mental preparation is that it is a game changer for many if not all. So it is now important for the French sports world to articulate its organization around this (growing) pole in part from the performance. Mental preparation can’t be just the coach’s experience and coolness on the back, no. To illustrate this lack of knowledge and skills, tell yourself that as if physical training was guided only by the choice of man and not by knowledge of physiology.

Ragna Debates - Winner Transgrancanaria 2022

Mental Preparation Training Leader

Les Nouvelles formations is the most followed and most used course in France by athletes and coaches for training in mental preparation.

some numbers

70 federations, associations and committees Recommend training to their coaches and athletes.

more than 7000 people trained in France

The importance of mental preparation - new formations - external editions
Maxi Race © David Gunthier

Training program and format

The program offered by Les Nouvelles Formations is intended for sports coaches of all levels. This program allows you to learn how to use a file 8 tools for mental preparation Provided below through hands-on training. You can continue training almost without a transition in your daily life, because everything is done remotely. Over two to three months, for a few hours a week, with pedagogical support available at all times.

Why this shape?

Because athletic coaches, supervisors, and athletes are facing time constraints. It’s hard to tell yourself that you’re doing better when you stop training in order to continue a course!

5 reasons to train

Superior performance

A global approach to motivation, goal setting, stress management, routine, mental imagery, focus, and self-confidence

Accessible to everyone

More than 7,000 French coaches and athletes have trained with the LNF in 25 different sports.

Immediately applicable

Independence at the end of training and the ability to use all the new mental preparation tools acquired during training

Certified Training

After completion of training, you can register for an examination to obtain a state-recognized certificate of mental preparation. (registered in the licenses and skills registry)

possible support

Employees have the right to train either through sports clubs or via a CPF (personal training account) for employees outside the sports field.

The importance of mental preparation - new formations - external editions
Xavier Thévenard © UTMB

How it works ?

1 unit per tool

Training is divided into 8 units Outstanding corresponds to 8 tools of mental preparation.

The Eight Tools of Mental Preparation

• Motivation: managing the variability of motivation.

• Setting goals: keeping the athlete in the lead, achieving the goal or not.

• Routine: Knowing how to change or improve your habits if they are not a source of performance.

• Internal Discourse: Avoid restricting the discourse to the athlete.

• Mental Imagination: the use and mastery of mental images to help an athlete improve his performance.

• Stress management: coaching the athlete to help him release any limited stress.

• Self-confidence: ensuring that the athlete is fully aware of his abilities.

• Focus: Stay focused and determined over time.

What does the unit consist of?

For each module, you can access explanatory videos as well as field application exercises on real athletes. So you can immediately apply what you learn during training.

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