Sports psychology for all fields: performance, leisure and health sports and grassroots. Sports psychology influences the mind more than you think. Did you know that your mind is essential to performance in physical activity?
The answer is to be found in the psychological functioning of athletes. They know how important their psychological functioning is in order to be at 100% of their possibilities.
When athletes perform an analysis on a competition in which they have not obtained the expected results, they are very different from the answers of the winners.
The difference between winning and losing when competing among the best is often minimal. All of them have trained and prepared thoroughly for that event. However, not all of them are able to give the best of themselves.
When asked about the reasons for their success, a large number of them attribute it to mental strength. You have to focus on the general and integrated functioning of the athlete in different sporting situations. It is so important that it is even part of a warm-up routine like this.
Sports psychology, the key to success
The word psychology comes from the terms psyche (soul or mental activity) and logos (science, study, treatise). And although it is a relatively new science, it has evolved a lot since the last century, and the concept ‘soul’ has been giving way to ‘behavior’ or ‘conduct’.
Sport psychologists work in three main fields of action: performance sports, leisure and health sports, and grassroots sports. According to this, there are two definitions of psychology, the one that seeks performance, and the one that focuses on an overall state of mind.
The first one (Palmi) says that it is a “set of psychological intervention techniques that will help the sportsman or woman to increase his or her knowledge and technical resources. For a better adaptation and sport performance at the moment of the competition.”
While (Martens) he advocates “psychological skills training with the aim of helping the athlete to improve his performance and to enjoy participation in sport. To develop activities that go beyond them and that will help them enjoy life”.
The potential of the mind
Few are aware of the enormous power our minds have. For better or worse, our mind has become our worst enemy. We come to have more than 60,000 thoughts a day; and that most of them tend to have a great negative charge.
The mind is a fantastic instrument if used correctly. But used incorrectly it can become tremendously destructive. The mind must be used for your own benefit. In this sense, mental strength and motivation must be trained as when we want to run at a certain pace. There are many athletes who do not reach their potential because they do not train in this area.
There is even evidence of a clear relationship between emotional state and the incidence and recovery from sports injuries. Contrary to popular belief, this quality can be developed.
The athlete as a person should not be forgotten. We must help them to cope with the risks and psychological problems that can arise from the demands of competitive sport. Let him be a balanced, satisfied and happy person. These could verify the benefits of having a coach in her motivation and security in the competition.
Without it diverting his attention from the main objective of his task as a competitive athlete. The power of the mind is enormous, but not everyone is able to use it. That is why the figure of the sports psychologist is important.
Every coach must have a part of the sports psychologist. These are the keys to choosing the best personal trainer.
It evaluates environmental and personal variables to identify problem behaviors and then addresses those variables. A follow up of this whole psychological process. Because they can be relevant in each specific moment.
There are several techniques that can help us, such as:
- Setting objectives. For example, start practicing Street Workout.
- Self-evaluation of the level of activation.
- Use of relaxation and other activation self-regulation strategies.
- Use of practice in imagination.
- Internal monologues.
- Strategies to help control attention during competition.
- Objective and appropriate analysis of one’s performance.
- Choosing the best time of day to train taking into account these factors.
You can also try meditation, which is a form of self-knowledge.
These, well applied by psychologists, can contribute greatly to modifying relevant variables related to performance and the mind’s influence on it, such as:
- Systematic desensitization: for the elimination of concrete fears.
- Cognitive restructuring: with objectives like the previous one, where fear behavior can be modified.
- Modification of dysfunctional beliefs and adverse emotional states: to go towards a mental balance of the athlete.
- Covert conditioning: of certain responses to specific background stimuli, trying to ‘trick’ the subconscious.
- Design of complex operative programs: for the modification of operative sports behaviours.
Appropriate training for the mastery of the mind can be an invaluable aid for most athletes. However, they will also have to be trained to learn how to apply these skills according to the variables.