Are You More of An Athlete Than You Know?

By Dr. Haley Perlus on December 11, 2015 , categorized in Endurance, Strength + Conditioning

When you take 20 athletes of equal ability and give ten of them mental training, the ten with mental training will outperform the others every time. Whether you’re an athlete in competition, a health enthusiast, or new to sport and fitness, Sport Psychologist Dr. Haley Perlus shares how professional athletes mentally train to maximize results­—and how you can apply these insights to your life. Read on to empower yourself to take control of your mind, overcome fear and doubt, and realize your true potential.

Sometimes all it takes to be better is acknowledging that you are indeed an athlete—no matter how fast, slow, talented you are right here in this moment. This small mental shift can be the difference between now and the next steps, between plateauing and growing, and staying stagnant or unlocking you true potential. Press play to see what Dr. Perlus has to say about identifying as an athlete:

Prefer to read? Here is a transcript of the full video:

0:00-0:24 Hey everyone I’m Dr. Haley Perlus, Sport and Exercise Psychology Expert and today is a brief video on a very important topic. I was just presenting at a fitness conference and one of the topics was allowing yourself to succeed and in order to do that you sometimes need to tell yourself a different story because our perception is our

0:25-1:23 One of the stories I like for the people that I’m consulting with to tell themselves is the story of themselves being an athlete. It could be a sport athlete, it could be a recreational athlete, it could be a Master’s athlete it could be competitive athlete, it could be a fitness athlete, a corporate athlete… it doesn’t matter. But really when we look at what an athlete means in today’s world it means a person who is seeking out peak performance, wanting to realize their true potential. When you allow yourself to think of yourself as an athlete, you then have the opportunity to really embrace all the aspects of peak performance whether it’s fitness, whether it’s conditioning, whether it’s nutrition, whether it’s mental toughness, whether it’s your actual sport specific performance, or if it is in the corporate world, certain tactics and techniques in business and in various other skillsets.

1:24-1:40 So I would ask you to change your story and ask yourself do you consider yourself an athlete? Do you embrace all the various components it takes to be the best you can possibly be in your discipline; whichever sport, whichever fitness activity, whichever business you’re pursuing.

1:41-2:04 And when I do embrace this topic with some my consulting clients,  sometimes some of the barriers that come up is, “well what if I make a mistake?” So a lot of people are afraid if you will to call themselves or consider themselves or to tell themselves the story of being an athlete because they’re afraid about making mistakes because athletes are these superhuman people.

2:05-2:41 Well let me tell you, in sport often coaches believe that he or she who were covers best from errors best for mistakes is the one is going to win the race, win the competition, win the game. So sport is not about being perfect it’s about recovering and learning to recover from your mistakes and from your errors.  That’s what being an athlete is about. When we touch upon that when we look at an athlete it’s not being perfect but as someone who is striving to be the best they can be and when they make a mistake and when they recover, then they’re the ultimate athlete
2:42-3:08  So think about that for yourself do you consider yourself to be an athlete and if you don’t, why not? Why not give it a shot this week and think about yourself as an athlete and all that encompasses all that really means is you waking up every morning and giving it your best shot exerting maximum effort in all of the various disciplines: nutrition, fitness, your sport, or your business, whichever you’re pursuing and really focusing on realizing your true potential.

What held you back from acknowledging that you are an athlete? Leave a comment below! 

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Dr. Haley Perlus

Dr. Haley Perlus is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Vega’s Expert Panel. With a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise Psychology, M.S. in Sport Pedagogy, and numerous fitness and coaching certifications, Dr. Perlus is an expert at empowering athletes of all types and health enthusiasts achieve peak results. An adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, international speaker, former Alpine ski racer, appointed Industry Leader for, and author including soon-to-be-released The One Minute Dietand Guidebook to Gold, Dr. Perlus helps people reach their highest standard of performance. For a free chapter of one of her books visit