Overcoming Your Mental Barriers with Sports Psychologist Justin Ross

On today’s episode, I’m talking with Dr. Justin Ross who is a psychologist specializing in working with athletes to improve their sports performance.

Dr. Justin Ross

“Everything starts in the mind,” says Dr. Ross.

Whether You Think You Can or You Can’t, You’re Right

Our thoughts our powerful things.

I talked to Dr. Ross about something I see too often at races: runners defeating themselves before the race even starts.

What do you do when things that are completely out of your control are impacting your race? Specifically, what happens when the weather is less than favorable on race day?

It’s a tough pill to swallow, no doubt, but the things that are out of your control are out of your control.

You have to allow yourself to be disappointed, but not devastated. ~@PsychDenver #runchat #runnerprobs Share on X

As hard as it is to do, try to remember that there will be other races you can run in the future.


The Mental Aspect of Running

Justin Ross Colfax

Talking with Dr. Ross, I asked him for ways that I can improve the mental aspect of my running.

Dr. Ross said that oftentimes, a little seed of negativity or self doubt is the cause of many of our mental hurdles.

One way to overcome said hurdle is to eliminate the seed altogether.

How do we do that?

  • Improve our self talk
  • Change the way we appraise our bodies mentally
  • Focus on the things we can control

Sounds easy, right?

Overcoming the mental barriers you face as a runner is a process, but it is doable. 

Dealing with Race Day Nerves

One are that I thankfully don’t struggle with are nerves/anxiety on race day.

Dr. Ross has a great post on his website about managing race anxiety to improve your performance.

He also talked about the importance of controlling your breath, and how focusing on the breath can help calm a runner’s nerves which can lead to a better race.

If you struggle with your mental game as much as I do, make sure you check out the great resources the Dr. Ross has available on the Mind Body Health website, and you can also connect with him on Twitter.

Ways to overcome your mental barriers in #running with sports psychologist @PsychDenver. #runchat Share on X


As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!

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