* A rugby player concentrates fully while running down the field*
* Two soccer players go for the ball in a tough match. *
* Before starting the race, divers anticipate when the whistle will sound. *
Sports Psychology is psychological foundations, processes and consequences of the psychological regulation of sport-related activities with one or more persons being the subject(s) of the activity. Considering your body is a mass of muscles and nerves linked together into the central processing unit that is your brain. Sports psychology uses the central processing unit to its greatest effect in controlling your body to give it the best possible sporting performance.
There are three main areas of Sports Psychology:
* The first step in setting goals in sports is to decide ones level commitment to the sport.
* Next, one has to decide on which skills should be mastered. Either team skills, or an individual's skills need to be focused on. One needs to look at who they are competing against and whether or not they have what it takes to match their goals.
* Lastly, one must look at their life goals. For instance the goals in which one sets for sports cannot overlap ones that may have to do with careers, relationships, education, and other facts of life.
Imagery & Simulation - Practicing in Your Mind
* Because the nerves in your brain are massively linked; and that vast numbers of nerve cells are linked with a hugely greater number of interconnections, one must use his or her mind when participating in any activity.
* Imagery is the process by which you can create, modify or strengthen pathways important to the coordination of your muscles, by training only within ones mind. Imagination is the force of imagery.
* Imagery rests on the important principle that you can use these parts of your brain with inputs from your imagination, not just from your senses: the parts of the brain that you train with imagery experience imagined and real inputs similarly, with the real inputs being merely more vividly experienced.
Focus & Flow
Focus is giving the skill one is trying to accomplish full attention. Flow is the being completely engaged in the implementation of the skill trying to be accomplished, and forgetting about everything else that could be on ones mind. In order for one to accomplish focus and flow, one must learn how to do a couple of key things. First, one must learn how to improve his/her mood. Second, one must learn how to control distractions. Lastly, and probably most importantly, one must learn how to manage stress.
Considering sports are 90-95% mental sports psychology is very important to obtaining the optimum amount of skill. Considering competition is tight, athletes are extremely physically fit, and the margin for victory is thin, using the mind to overcome competition is very important. Today many sport teams ranging from recreational to pro are using sport psychology to their benefit. So, get physically fit, and fit in the mind!