Sport Psychology. Mind and body link. For everything you think in your mind, your body has a reaction, regardless of whether it is real or imagined. For example, have you ever had a bad dream?
When there are two teams that are physically equal, it is the team that works together smoothly and is mentally prepared and confident that will come out on top. Keep in mind, though: no mental training will compensate for ineffective technique.
You need to be strong, technically and mentally.
Eustress: stress viewed positively
Distress: stress viewed negatively
When you are physically tired, or do not want to tire yourself before a performance
Before or after practice and games, or during breaks in the game
Similarly, start using imagery in a quiet, relaxed environment in which there are few distractions.
Slowly experiment with using it in increasingly disturbed situations until you are comfortable with using imagery in the most distracting environments such as high level events.
Imagery can also be used to affect some aspects of the 'involuntary' responses of your body such as release of adrenaline.
This is most highly developed in Eastern mystics who use imagery in a highly effective way to significantly reduce heart rate or oxygen consumption.
In many ways simulation is superior to imagery in training, as the stresses introduced are often more vivid because they exist in reality.
However simulation requires much greater resources of time and effort to set up and implement.
Concentration - ability to maintain focus
Confidence - believe in one's abilities
Control - ability to maintain emotional control regardless of distraction
Commitment - ability to continue working to agreed goals
Research has identified the following types of attention focus:
Broad Narrow continuum - the athlete focuses on a large or small number of stimuli
Internal External continuum - the athlete focuses on internal stimuli (feelings) or external stimuli (ball)
Athletes will develop a routine for competition which may include the night before, the morning, pre competition, competition and post competition routines.
If these routines are appropriately structured then they can prove a useful aid to concentration.
When an athlete has self confidence they will tend to: persevere even when things are not going according to plan, show enthusiasm, be positive in their approach and take their share of the responsibility in success and failure.
That interest has focused on techniques which athletes can use in the competitive situation to maintain control and optimize their performance.
Once learned, these techniques allow the athlete to relax and to focus his/her attention in a positive manner on the task of preparing for and participating in competition.