What does it take to really excel in the world of elite sport? The ability to deliver your best when it matters the most is a fundamental part of performing under pressure. Can this ability be taught, learned and developed?
What makes emotions in sport so complicated is that no emotion is truly good or bad during competition. For example, anger can make you try harder, but it can also make you lose focus on the task at hand. Even two people experiencing the same emotion can react in different ways. So a footballer who is embarrassed about missing too many shots may shy away from receiving the ball, whereas another might react by calling for it more to get a chance to redeem themselves.
So in this article we are going to look at 10 tips to control emotions in sport:
Listening to music is a great way for an athlete to get into the zone. Upbeat or inspirational music for example improves an athlete’s confidence and motivation, leading to better on pitch performance. Music acts as a way to boost arousal levels whilst also helping to block out distracting thoughts.
Negative self-talk leads to a poor emotional state, which in turn hurts athletic performance. Replacing it with positive self-talk such as “I played really well in my last match” or “I’ve succeeded at this before, I know I can now” counters negative emotions and creates positive ones too. This positive self-talk creates helpful emotions such as happiness.
RELAXING, POSITIVE IMAGERY
If you find yourself stressed out over competing or are worried about failing, try imagining positive scenarios like scoring a goal. It has been found that imagery focused on toughness, control, and confidence leads to increased motivation, emotion regulation, and self-belief. This is a great technique to do the night before a match or just before you go out to compete.
CHALLENGING SELF-HANDICAPPING THOUGHTS
It has been found that imagery focused on toughness, control, and confidence leads to increased motivation, emotion regulation, and self-belief. This is a great technique to do the night before a match or just before you go out to compete.
FACE YOUR FEARS
Psychologists believe that there are three ways people cope with situations. These are Avoidant, Emotional and Problem Focused. Let’s say you are worried about snakes in your garden. You could decide to never go into your garden again (avoidance focused), or convince yourself that having snakes in your back garden isn’t that bad (emotion focused) or go into your garden and get rid of the snakes (problem focused). Whereas avoidance and emotional focused coping may provide a short relief, problem focused coping addresses the issue head on, allowing you to make long term gains. Don’t be an ostrich and bury your head in the sand. If something is worrying you, work out how you can make it better.
Article from: https://blog.innerdrive.co.uk/sports/10-top-tips-to-help-control-your-emotions-in-sport-part-1