The psychological Olympian

By Caroline Heaney, Open University
Originally Published: Thursday, 26 January 2012

Self-confidence has a very important part to play in successful sports performance. People who have a high level of self-confidence or self-belief in their ability to perform well in a particular task are much more likely to do so than people who have low levels of self-belief. But where does this confidence come from? According to the psychologist Albert Bandura our level of self-confidence in a particular situation is influenced by factors such as our previous experiences, role models, feedback from others and our interpretation of any feelings of nervousness. Therefore in sport if an athlete has performed well in training and competition in the lead up to an event, has seen role models similar to themselves perform well, has received encouragement from important people around them (such as a coach) and is able to cope with the pressure of an impending important event they are likely to have high levels of self-confidence and perform well… Click here to read on

Shaking off the pregame jitters

By Kelsey Krusterer, High School
Originally Published: 24 January 2010

Sweat beads on your forehead. The roar of the crowd is drowned out by the thumping heartbeat resonating in your head. Your hands start to shake and you wonder if your biggest rival will put your team to shame for the fifth year in a row.

You have a serious case of the “pre-game jitters.”… Click here to read on

In Pursuit of Excellence:
How to Win in Sport and Life Through Mental Training

By Terry Orlick (Author)

Book Description
In Pursuit of Excellence will show you how to develop the positive outlook that turns ordinary people into winners… on the playing field and off. You’ll learn how to focus your commitment, overcome obstacles to excellence, and achieve greater overall personal and professional satisfaction. Continue reading

Mountain Mindset

By Tim Herzog, Outside Bozeman

Downhill mountain bikers have “a higher threshold for adrenaline and fear,” says sports psychologist Julie Emmermann. Other PhDs say mountain bikers should “have their heads checked,” “pray,” and “not fall off.” And some say that fear simply isn’t a factor, only fun. Achieving optimal physiological arousal, the psychologist’s phrase for “getting psyched up,” is a big part of the game. Dr. Emmerman says that many riders caffeinate to reach their ideal zone, and she confirms rumors that smoking pot is part of the culture among amateurs, but that it is less prevalent among the pros, partly because they learn other means of managing anxiety… Click here to read on

Ironman champ: Train your brain, then your body

By Chrissie Wellington, CNN
Originally Published: Tuesday, 21 February 2012

(CNN) — Training for a race is like riding a roller coaster — you experience highs and lows, ups and downs, and more peaks and troughs than the New York Stock Exchange.

Two weeks before I raced at the World Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii, last year, I had a bad bike crash. I won the race, not on physical prowess, but on grit, willpower, determination and mental strength… Click here to read on

I think, therefore I choke

By Jaimal Yogis, ESPN The Magazine
Originally Published: Thursday, 8 March, 2012

IT WAS A CHIP SHOT. With just 15 seconds left in the AFC championship game against the Patriots in January, the Ravens’ Billy Cundiff faced a 32-yarder to send the game into overtime. Like all NFL kickers, Cundiff uses the scoreboard to keep track of downs and where he should be in his prekick routine. As the Ravens stalled at the Pats’ 14-yard line, the Gillette Stadium scoreboard showed third down. Problem was, it was wrong, the Ravens say. Unprepared and probably a bit confused, Cundiff was rushed onto the field by screaming coaches. He hadn’t missed a fourth-quarter kick all season. But he got a mediocre snap; the laces weren’t quite out. His kick came low off of his foot and hooked left. With his teammates looking on in horror and disbelief, Cundiff had just choked — badly… Click here to read on

Better mentality aids Phillies reliever Aumont

By David Murphy,
Originally Published: March 01, 2012

CLEARWATER, Fla. – The call came last offseason. Minor league pitching coordinator Gorman Heimueller was on the other end. Phillippe Aumont liked what he heard, and later that winter, he was on his way to La Crosse, Wis., where the Phillies had set up a meeting with Dr. Jack Curtis, a renowned author and motivational speaker who specializes in the mental side of athletic performance… Click here to read on