Although sport is played with the body, it is won in the mind (A. P. Moran)
Mental Skills for Performance Enhancement and Stress Management for Athletes
Stress Management for Athletes – An Overview
Stress Management refers to a variety of techniques employed by individuals to better cope with the effects of the stress process and/or experience of stress. The main aim of stress management in sport is to enable athletes to effectively cope with competition-related demands for optimal performance as well as psychological and emotional well-being.
Mental Skills for Athletes – An Overview
Mental skills training uses various methods and techniques to achieve specific goals and ensure consistent optimal performance while maintaining strong psychological and emotional balance.
Mental skills training comprises an individualized approach to meet the needs of the intended athlete or team.
Research on elite athletes has shown that the following factors play a crucial role in the success of athletes:
• Better concentration
• Greater confidence
• Ability to focus on the task
• Better arousal, anxiety and attentional control strategies
• Generate more positive thoughts and imagery
• More determination and commitment
(Maynard & Gould, 2009; Hardy, Jones & Gould, 1996)
Mental Skills can be taught and should be integrated into a regular training regimen of athletes.
Benefits of Using Mental Skills Techniques for Athletes:
• Behavioural gains (e.g., improved performance and persistence, reduced burnout)
• Emotional gains (e.g., increased self-esteem and enjoyment, decreased anxiety)
• Cognitive gains (e.g., greater concentration and focus, fewer meltdowns)
• Athletes who use psychological skills report greater gains in shorter amounts of time
• Gives athletes the competitive advantage over physically similar opponents
• Physical Relaxation (Sport Psychology for Coaches)
- Team sessions
- Small group sessions
- Private and semi-private sessions
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