Many athletes who have become frustrated with performance lags or
seemingly unbreakable plateaus achieve success through sport psychology
techniques. The techniques utilized in sport psychology are also useful
to actors, speakers, musicians, and other performers to help alleviate
performance anxiety, increase confidence and perform at their best.
You can try out a different exercise each month here.
Such techniques include:
Training: Learning about your personal physiological responses
to stress leads to control over those responses.
- Visualization: "Seeing" your performance in your mind before
you play is an excellent tool for success.
- Relaxation Training: Slow breathing and other relaxation
methods help consistency and performance.
- Imagery/Mental Rehearsal: Mental practice helps you prepare
for the demands of your sport. Dr. Sprague discusses this topic
- Distraction Desensitization: Learning to tune out distractors
can improve your game drastically. Read more on Dr. Sprague's discussion
Clear of Distractors".
- Thought Stopping: Learn how to stop badgering yourself
with negative self-talk that undermines your play. Read Dr. Sprague's
discussion on "Accentuate
- Confidence Training: No amount of skill can compensate
for a lack of confidence. Learn how to build yours.
- Cognitive restructuring: Find out how you can change some
of your thinking patterns to increase your confidence and emotional
- Focus Training: Concentration and focus are crucial elements
of zone-type performance. Read Dr. Sprague's discussion on "Edging
Toward The Zone". Or, learn more about the factors that can
keep you from the zone here.
- Fostering Realistic Goals and Expectations: Goal setting
is vital to accomplish any task you undertake, but the goals must
be realistic in order to avoid frustration or burnout.
Have you been to the Zone? Do you know what keeps you out of the Zone?
Find out here!
- Fostering Team Cohesiveness: Teams can develop skills as
a unit to tighten their play while supporting each individual athlete.