Sport and Performance Psychology

/ October 25th, 2012/ Posted in Sports / Comments Off on Sport and Performance Psychology

How can I use my mind to get more from my life? Sports and performance psychology holds the answer. It is often as easy, and as hard, as relaxing the body and calming the mind. Then our actions in life become a choice.

There are three major divisions in sports and performance psychology. The first is direct research where top performers are studied. The second is educational in which the research findings are taught. The third is the direct application of the research findings to athletes, and top performers. It has only been in recent years that the direct applications of sport and performance psychology techniques have become available to the recreational athlete, to health concerns, and to all arenas of personal and profession life.

In Aikido, a Japanese nonviolent noncompetitive martial art, we often say wherever the head goes the body follows. The direct application of his theory is easy to see when throwing somebody physically. It is less obvious on a mental level.

One of the validating demonstrations I use to illustrate the mind-body connection is applied kinesiology or muscle testing. I ask an individual to hold their arm out horizontally from their body and to resist my downward pressure. I ask them to think of something negative, or false, and the arm becomes observably weakened.

When thinking of a positive, or truth, the body remains strong. Just the unspoken thoughts affect the body strength. It is hard to deny the direct effects of our thoughts on our body after this demonstration.

The application of sports and performance psychology techniques focus on the body and the mind. The body is relaxed and the mind is calm and focused. The steps taken are very similar to those used in self-hypnosis.

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