The Importance Of Psychology In Sports
Everyone who plays professional sport will tell you: you have to get your head into the right space to succeed. Basically, this boils down to the psychological aspect of competing as well as even just performing well. Many amateurs in a variety of sports don’t take this into consideration when they are looking to improve their game in whatever sport they play, to their detriment.
Big Match Temperament
One of the main reasons why we fail at our chosen sport is nerves. Unless you have big match temperament, the thought of competing in front of anyone will fill you with anxieties, rendering all your training obsolete. The easiest way to get over this is to go to a number of smaller events, as often as possible. Sports Psychology can play a great role here in reducing stress and teaching you the correct coping mechanisms for when you do experience it.
Lowers Heart Rate
Believe it or not, sports psychology can play a role in lowering heart rate, and thus making your overall sporting experience a safer and more enjoyable one. Playing into the previous paragraph about stress, losing your match or game can increase your stress levels, causing your heart rate to become elevated. This, in turn, increases your chance of running out of breath or fainting.
Knowing how to deal with this stress when it occurs is vital to performing at your peak in a healthy way. Breathing practice, visualization, imagery, and music are all utilized as tools to help you to calm down and to trigger calming responses in your brain.
Triggers are a large part of sports psychology, which very few people are aware of. These triggers can be in a practice environment such as a putting green or driving range or a competitive environment such as an archery contest. A great example of this is training your brain that tapping your club twice on the ground before you swing will result in a perfect swing. Once you have done this enough time at practice, recreating it on the actual course should result in a perfect swing most of the time.
Getting Over Fear
Many sports are actually quite scary to take part in. Rock climbing and horse riding are two examples where fear can be incredibly detrimental to your performance. Freezing halfway up a rock face, or as you approach a jump at high speed can not only result in you not winning your competition but also can actually end in some serious personal injury. Sports psychology helps one to acknowledge the fear, and deal with it accordingly in order to overcome it.
Every sportsman who has competed well will also tell you that structure is key. In order to succeed you need a plan for all aspects of your game, just like you do when you place bets at horse racing betting sites. A set routine to follow when you practice will make sure that you don’t leave anything out, and also can keep track of how you are progressing.
Another form of structure is the little rituals that one can perform in order to “reset” the brain. This is especially evident when watching tennis. You will notice that players have a certain routine which they carry out between points: walk back to the line, put the racket in another hand, and then twirl it or bounce the ball a certain amount of times before serving. All of these little things add up to improve your performance.