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Sport psychology techniques

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:

  • Autogenic 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 here.
  • Distraction Desensitization: Learning to tune out distractors can improve your game drastically. Read more on Dr. Sprague's discussion of "Staying 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 the Positive".
  • 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 control.
  • 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.
  • Fostering Team Cohesiveness: Teams can develop skills as a unit to tighten their play while supporting each individual athlete.
Have you been to the Zone? Do you know what keeps you out of the Zone? Find out here!