Recent research has show that sport psychology techniques work even for people who don't believe in all that mumbo-jumbo.
I'll be the first to admit psychology has a bad reputation in the sporting world. If professional players still view ideas like self-talk and visualisation with suspicion, what chance does the average club player have of using these powerful tools to his or her advantage?
Club players just don't trust the ideas.
It turn's out that this doesn't matter in the slightest though.
In a study on self-talk in the journal Athletic Insight, researchers found out:
"Results indicated that belief in self-talk was not significantly correlated with performance; however, those who used positive self-talk performed significantly better than those who used negative/mixed self-talk. These results suggested that the type of self-talk used (i.e., positive or negative) was more important than one's belief in self-talk."
In other words, if you tell yourself you are going to do well and cut out all thoughts of failure you are more likely to succeed.
Even if you don't believe it.
Seeing as we are all having an internal dialogue on the pitch anyway it stands to reason the best thing you can do is just to be hopelessly optimistic all the time. It's the difference between believing you will catch a skier coming straight to you and wishing you were anywhere else but under it. Which approach is more likely to succeed?
So while psychologists continue to discuss the technical terms you can forget the mumbo-jumbo. Just think positive and block out the negative. Easy.
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