Approach your interpreting work as an athlete would by getting mentally ready, creating a ‘game tape’ of your interpreting work/practice, finding a mentor to work with, get with a person you feel is ‘champ’ at their job and study their work, practice PRACTICE practice (which you already do!), focus on measurable skill-specific goals, and set aside time in your life to make this a priority!
There are many days to incorporate this in your life. Set aside 30 minutes a day 3-5 days a week to work on your interlingual interpreting skills, soft skills, comprehension, fingerspelling, etc. Find three things that you want to develop each week, tape yourself, use a rubric to take note of your development, etc. Also find three things that you excel at and give yourself a pat on the back. You deserve to be recognized for your accomplishments. At the end of each week measure and record your improvement. You will see over time that through dedicated practice your skills will improve and habits and patterns will appear from your work you have never noticed before.
Committing yourself to improving within the field of interpreting you are saying that you want to provide the best and most accurate message possible. It shows that you care about your work. All stakeholders (both Deaf and Hearing) that utilize interpreters in various situations and expect the message to be faithful to the source message. As interpreter professionals we have to raise the standards to the quality of the work we are providing each and every day. Treat every assignment like it’s game day.
Be the best YOU possible.