We are often driven by an athlete’s peak performance, admire the way they sometimes manage to pull things off and make us proud. More often than not, these athletes are even labelled as ‘role models’, ‘heroes’ and even ‘gods’, but we tend to forget that they are human beings just like us. They have their ups and downs; they may get upset and blow off a game and fail to impress us.
The difference between a top athlete and a ‘mere’ athlete is the determination, ambition, and the spirit they put into the game on competition day preparation. A good athlete may easily fail and blow the game if he or she fails to take into account one of the mechanisms that keeps him or her in the ‘zone’ and playing in the zone.
According to a study quoted by Sports Injury Bulletin, coaches often attempt to inspire fear in their athletes on competitive day preparation. Such attitudes tend to jeopardize the performance of the athlete and produce stress. Psychological research reveals that 90% of sports injuries in games are stress-related.
Frustration, anxiety, and distraction are the main key factors that prevent an athlete from producing the best performance.
In recent years, successful athletes have proved that for peak performance, the athlete needs to evolve tactical psychological operations techniques. These psychological tactics include, being relaxed, being self-possessed, staying focused, and having a positive self-image. But, it is not always as easy for athletes to develop these techniques as easily said.
They require the support of a mental diet psychologist and need to constantly integrate and apply the rules of sports psychology if they are eager to maintain peak performance while getting rid of psychological stress.
Sports psychology has indeed proved to be a critical tool for developing the requisite mental toughness athletes need to perform well and be at their best.
Sports psychology helps in:
1. aiding athletes to deal with stress and anxiety before the competition day
2. improving in their learning method and major abilities
3. developing positive self-image and confidence
4. staying focused
5. creating the awareness needed for peak performance
6. dealing with competitive anxieties
It is therefore recommended that an athlete work with a sports psychologist who will help you manage stress and instill in you positive thoughts that will help you enhance your performance.