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How can psychology help make a world champion?

Friday 04 August 2017

Reading time: 1 minute

To be a world champion athlete, first you need to be a champion in your mind.

Being a world champion is about more than just physical training. You need to train to be a champion in your mind, too. Top athletes work with sport and exercise psychologists to learn how to think differently.

Here are three things you need to be able to do if you want to be a champion.

1. Deal with setbacks

Mental toughness is what helps top athletes perform their best in demanding situations. To be a champion you must stay optimistic, focus on your goal, strive for continued success, and cope effectively with adversities such as injuries or setbacks.

2. Control your nerves

We all get nervous before a big event. For top athletes it can make the difference between success and failure.

Psychologists use mindfulness training to help athletes deal with performance-related anxiety. Accepting who you are and putting yourself in perspective can improve your performance. You think, ‘I’ve done this before, I know I can do this, I will reflect on the positive.’

3. Picture the victory

How you think about yourself shapes your actions. To be a champion, first you have to be a champion in your mind.

Picture yourself winning the race. This is a key part of training before a big tournament or competition. Athletes spend six months or more visualising the victory.

By using the techniques of psychology, athletes can gain a vital edge over the competition, and ultimately achieve their goal of becoming a world champion.

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