Mental drills

Mental drills

The effect of thought suppression on sports performance

Thought suppression – a paradoxical effect Pay attention now: don’t think about the referee and his biased decisions. Are you succeeding in not thinking about him? If you have ever tried to suppress disruptive or irritating thoughts, you will know that it is easier said than done – and recent research suggests we might actually […]

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How swimmers approach training and competition

The importance of paying attention in sport In a more recent study(1) 69 recreational swimmers, all physical education students, were asked to perform two 500m freestyle swims on either side of an intervention designed to compare the effects of associative and dissociative techniques on performance. First all the participants completed a questionnaire designed to identify, […]

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Sports psychology and mental toughness

Do you have what it takes to maintain focus, motivation and self-belief when the going gets hard? There are certain moments during competition that appear to carry great psychological significance, when the momentum starts to shift in one direction or another. These situations require athletes to remain completely focused and calm in the face of […]

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Self-hypnosis in sport

Imagery in sport – how imagination can enhance performance “The man without imagination has no wings, he cannot fly.” Muhammad Ali  The progression of the human species has relied heavily upon our capacity to look beyond where we are now. According to Dr Costas Karageorghis, these same qualities of foresight and vision can be harnessed to […]

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Mental imagery for physical people

How recreating all-sensory experience can profoundly affect your performance A few years ago I remember seeing a close-up shot of former world motor racing champion Damon Hill in his Formula One car as his head swayed from side to side. There was nothing new about TV producers wanting to get closer to the action, but […]

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Fortifying the mind

To improve performance, you have to start by fortifying the mind A friend of mine was a patient in a cancer ward and his treatment involved going without food and water for eight weeks. He survived on a drip. During this time he lost three stone in weight. Around him other patients frequently died. It […]

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Meditation

Good news for the immune system: meditation can modify the effects of strenuous exercise Intense training and heavy exercise have been linked with a damping down of immune system activity, leaving some athletes more vulnerable to infections. It’s thought that this may be because of a link with stress – heavy exercise stimulates the release […]

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The psychology of speed training

Mental preparation to enhance speed training and improve performance Article at a glance Encourages mental preparation prior to speed sessions to ensure high-quality performances Argues that performance can be improved by working harder and working smarter Shows that reflection and analysis are vital to improvement Suggests that learning to control self-talk can help manage unwanted […]

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