Do you want to know how to get better at singing?
I see you. Singing in your car. Your living room. You’re pretty sure you have raw talent but... what if you’re wrong? What if you can’t ever figure out how to get better at singing - good enough to become the singer you tell no one that you dream of being?
I’ve been there.
My path to living out my love of singing was long and scenic. But I’m going to use my experience to shorten the road for you. Ready?
In the following paragraphs, I’m going to teach you all about the single most important mindset shift you can make to successfully pursue your singing goals: The athlete mentality.
And I’ll give you 3 reasons that, if implemented, this shift will become the vehicle to your imminent success. Phew! That’s a big commitment I just made to you. But I’m not scared…
What is the Athlete Mentality?
If you want to know how to get better at singing, from this moment on, start thinking of yourself as an athlete.
Approach singing the way an athlete approaches a sport by taking into consideration things like:
- Taking care of your body (your instrument).
- Keeping a positive, growth mindset.
- Having a regular workout routine.
Adopting the athlete mentality was life-changing for me and has since been life-changing for countless students I’ve worked with over the years.
If you haven’t previously considered this approach, it will be life-changing for you, too! Let me explain why…
3 Reasons why the athlete mentality is how to get better at singing.
The bottom line is, singing is a sport.
Here is a definition of the word sport from Oxford Languages:
“An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”
Is that not singing in a nutshell?
- Physical exertion
- Competing for entertainment
(Note: You may not be on stage dueling against other singers for a medal, but every time you perform, you’re competing for the accolades of your audience – and if you lose, the venue won’t give you another gig. Singing is absolutely competitive entertainment!)
Each one of these characteristics of a sport is a reason for singers to embrace the athlete mentality.
The athlete mentality builds physical stamina. With the athlete mentality, you’ll build singing stamina without strain or fatigue (four sets tonight? No prob!) and keep that strong healthy voice indefinitely (because, if all goes well, you’ll be singing for decades!). It’s a commitment to a continual growth journey because it’s a lifestyle choice.
The athlete mentality is key to building your technique. Athletes know that any physical skill (including singing) can be improved over time with practice and persistence. It’s the key to reaching greatness. That’s why singer-athletes have a regular workout routine and enjoy seeing the small signs of progress they consistently experience along their path. Instead of “can I get there?” singer-athletes ask, “how will I get there?”
The athlete mentality puts your performance skills on a big-picture trajectory. No single performance (competition) can make or break any part of your journey. Every performance is just another data collection point where you learn from what went well and decide what you’d like to improve upon. The athlete mentality says there are no losses, just learning opportunities. It is about the long game, and the long game is the key to overall success!
How to embrace the athlete mentality.
Some singers find the word “athlete” intimidating. If you are one of those singers, let me ease your mind with some simple suggestions:
- Develop or find a regular vocal workout routine and implement it a minimum of three times per week.
- Get your mindset on track with these 2 mantras: (1) Progress, not perfection. (2) Learning opportunities, not losses.
- Assess your sleep routine and water intake, and start noting how certain foods impact your body and voice (make changes and re-evaluate if/as needed).
- Expand your view of your overall goal. It’s not about a single skill. It’s about the complete package of who you are as an artist, how to best express that person, what success will mean for you, what’s getting in your way, etc…
So... Now you know the truth…
The athlete mentality is how to get better at singing – especially if (like me) you were born a mere mortal with an average voice.
I discovered this later in life – and it helped me realize I needed to do more than sing songs in my living room to get where I wanted to be (and I'm not alone with this idea. You can check out Andrew Byrne's article about ways to practice singing as a sport. Good stuff!)
Here's a simple, fast, and free way to add direction and momentum to your quest for better singing.
There are four main areas of focus that singers with direction want to continually cycle through on their singing journey. You can learn what they are and where you stand among them by taking my Singer’s Self-Assessment Quiz. These five simple questions will broaden your perspective on how to REALLY move forward. Check it out!