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The Psychological Factor in Sports

 

The Psychological Factor in Sports

 Psychological


Competitive athletes now have a fundamental understanding of the social nature of competition and how it is helpful for their game. Applied sport psychology is a tool by which athletes participate in recognizing their own sport habits while exploring simple psychological principles aimed at optimizing their sport success by creating personality-fitting sport routines.

How do you become more coachable, what is said by 'coachability,' why do you want to? You have, no doubt, coaches who improved you immensely and coaches that you wish you never had. The reality is that any coach tells you something about yourself, and if you're emotionally tough enough, you can do something about yourself. And if you are mentally strong enough, you can take a lesson from each of them to enhance your game.

Remember, to see each coach as a resource to help your game and expect to learn something.

Motivation speaks to the drive you have or need to showcase your talent in sports. How you got involved for the first time and what kept you in sport means less than what now keeps you in sport. Clearly, on page 8, you are provided with evaluation guidelines.

Evaluating your talent, and you are given guidelines for goal setting on pages 83-85. It is important to determine for yourself what drives you to work out, remain in shape, study your game, and practice your skills as you read those pages. The more you can say that your reasons for playing come from within yourself, the stronger your mental game will develop in an ideal world.

Let's face anxiety, it's a fact of life. There are no athletes who have never experienced pre-game jitters, but most experienced athletes expect nervousness and think it's more like a wake-up call and a ready-to-get signal. Many successful athletes deal with anxiety in private and unique ways, and many others still choose to deal with anxiety.

At the end of this section, one or more of the sports behavior interventions discussed were selected. Research has documented time and again that sports behavior interventions are attributed to beneficial results, better performance and better results. Some of the more popular methods include different strategies for coping, relaxation, or energizing. More will be said about imagery, self-talk, visualization, and attentional focus towards the end of this section.

Performance profiling, which refers to your personal profile; what your abilities are described, what your behavior is characterized by, and what the whole of you best represents. As a self-assessment exercise and reality check, think of your performance profile. This is when you have to be honest with yourself and fairly judge your abilities and acknowledge your weaknesses.

Picture your performance profile as a pie chart with individual sections that each represent a certain skill or quality that you must have to succeed in your role as an athlete.

Remember that you have many different roles or identities, such as being a student, a teenager, a daughter or a son, and if you want to be good in that role, each requires you to possess certain skills or qualities. For this very reason, athletes are referred to as student-athletes. You will probably benefit from building a student performance profile side by side when you take the time to build your sports performance profile.

You need to name or identify each ability in the performance profile and assign it a portion of the pie chart equal in space size to the amount of importance it holds. For example, a basketball point guard would recognize dribbling as a major skill needed (a larger slice of the pie) and less important inbound passing (a smaller slice).

See what portions get low marks and what amount of room they take up as you view the performance profile.

A lot of space and a low mark is an attention-getter that takes immediate action. If you use this exercise at this point in time to evaluate your performance, you need to devise some goal statements to improve on that skill in order to make it pay off. Short-term and long-term objectives are described on pages 83-86 and will help you focus on strategies for improvement. Although each performance profile should be an individual creation, it does not mean that it must be done separately. In reality, experience using performance profiling indicates that pairing with a teammate or group of athletes increases interest, dedication, and accountability levels. Conducting several over a season, or over a full calendar year, or over a period of years will illustrate the effects of positive impacts on your improvement and the development of sports performance.

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