Sports Psychology in Athletes

| July 6, 2014


Today’s elite athletes spend time working with sports psychologists to prepare themselves for competition, developing mental strategies that enable them to cope with different situations. In the heat of intensive competition retaining mental composure can make all the difference between winning and losing. While some athletes prefer to psyche themselves up before a race, others prefer to remain calm and introverted. It is therefore vital that you find a mental strategy that creates the best possible environment to suit your specific needs, prior to the start.
An inevitable physiological reaction before the start of a race is the body’s release of the hormone adrenalin, which helps to prepare the body for action.

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Concentration is never lost, it is only redirected. On the golf course I wasn’t thinking about my credit cards being maxed out –$30,000 in credit card debt. I wasn’t thinking about my Uncle going in and out of the hospital with Alzheimer’s, or that no one could figure out how…However, too much adrenalin can cause anxiety and nervousness, and even feelings of nausea. Learning how to cope with this, and remain calm, is something that you will need to practice and rehearse.
Be Positive
Retaining a positive attitude throughout a race is essential for success, whether beating an opponent or achieving a personal best time. Many athletes will admit to having lost a race before even starting, simply because they were not in the right frame of mind and gave themselves little chance of winning or doing well. Conversely, even if up against an opponent who may in theory have a faster time, it is still possible to increase the chances of success through self-belief and a positive approach to the race, which can in turn unsettle the opponent.
Self-belief and a positive approach are essential for success whether it is beating an opponent or achieving a personal best. Adopting the right mental approach to training is also important. Few athletes find training easy and retaining the motivation to tackle hard sessions or to train on dark, wet nights is something that all athletes have to work at. A positive mental attitude to training is essential if the quantity and quality of training that is needed to succeed is to be completed and this is one of the reasons why training in a group or with a club can be of great benefit.
It is easy to have the right approach to training and competition when things are going well. A harder test of mental aptitude is when things go wrong or your performance is not as good as expected. When this inevitably happens, you will need to refocus and set new targets, while analyzing the reasons behind the disappointment. It is important not to allow failures to create a negative approach – instead use them as a catalyst and motivation for future success.


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Category: Athletics

About the Author ()

I’m just an average guy who spent 15 years in the Armed Services, and when about to leave thought “Hmmm, what the heck am I going to do now?!?” Being an ex-serviceman I have always had a passion for health and fitness and wanted to help others reach their goals. I have 4 wonderful daughters (hence my lack of hair) and they are my reason “why” I do this. I wanted to have lots of energy to make the most of my family time, especially when the kids are young and making you run around like a lunatic!!! I've managed to keep myself in good shape all my life and it is never too late to start. But you have got to believe in yourself, a LOT!!!! And that’s where I come in. I can help you overcome your doubts and show you how to look after yourself physically and mentally so you can have the physical energy to be able to enjoy all the free time with your friends and family. I guess that about wraps it up; I hope the site helps you in some small way in your health and fitness and personal development journey.

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