Sport is a great way to stay healthy and improve your well-being. However, some people fail to maintain regular physical activity due to a lack of time or motivation. In this article, we discuss the importance of psychological aspects in becoming a better athlete.
What makes someone good at sports?
A good athlete is someone physically efficient, disciplined and respectful of those around them.
The notion of sports performance varies according to the athlete’s objectives. The performances required for a high-level professional athlete are not the same as those of an amateur athlete. In any case, it is a question of optimizing the level of performance according to your capacity and the means available.
Here are some physical aspects to consider:
- Ability to coordinate;
A good athlete must have a set of mental skills that allow them to achieve goals and meet challenges. These include:
- Increased focus;
- Positive attitude;
- Emotional control;
- Ability to manage stress and anxiety;
- Sense of responsibility;
- Tactical intelligence;
A good athlete has to:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle (balanced diet, good sleep, moderate alcohol consumption, etc.);
- Strictly respect the rules of the game and the internal regulations of the club.
A successful athlete must develop healthy relationships with his or her environment:
- Respect your coach and teammates;
- Respect the referees, the opponents, and the public.
What is the role of psychology in sports?
A psychologist can help athletes of all levels to engage in regular physical activity as well as explain the benefits sports can have on mental health and offers solutions to overcome obstacles.
Prepare Yourself Mentally
A sports psychologist helps athletes prepare mentally for sporting events by working on developing potential and managing performance anxiety. Relaxation techniques are effective for staying calm and focused before and during competition. Sports psychologists can teach various breathing and relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation and progressive muscle relaxation. They can also help athletes change their perception of competitive situations. Getting into the “right frame of mind” can sometimes mean the difference between winning and losing.
Sports psychology allows the athlete to identify his or her strengths and weaknesses and to develop mental strategies to improve performance.
Strengthen Team Cohesion
May it be a team or individual sport, a sports psychologist can strengthen the bonds between members of the sports organization by stimulating communication and team spirit.
Managing Difficult Situations
Athletes can go through difficult moments during their career, such as serious injury, negative results, an unexpected defeat, a lack of participation, etc. The support of a psychologist is necessary to overcome negative emotions and facilitate reintegration into the team and competitions.
How to make exercise motivating?
Know the benefits of sport
Regular physical activity has many benefits for both physical and mental health:
- Improve cardiovascular activity: sports reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes, heart attacks and high blood pressure. It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), increases good cholesterol (HDL), improves blood circulation, regulates blood sugar, reduces the risk of diabetes, makes the heart more resistant during physical effort, etc.
- Get in better shape: physical activity is an effective way to avoid becoming overweight and obese by activating the body’s metabolism. It allows you to lose excess weight and obtain a slimmer and more toned figure.
- Improve muscle and bone strengthening: Sports entail movements which help develop muscles and strengthen bone density, preventing joint pain and certain chronic diseases such as low back pain, rheumatism, osteoporosis, etc.
- Strengthen the immune system: regular exercise stimulates the production of immune cells such as lymphocytes and antibodies. These agents play a key role in the body’s defence against viral or bacterial infections. Physical activity also promotes the anti-inflammatory response.
- Improve well-being: physical activity causes a feeling of well-being and relaxation. This is due to the secretion of pleasure hormones, called endorphins. These hormones are synthesized by the brain following intense physical effort. Sport thus helps to reduce stress and to disconnect from everyday life.
- Staying in a good mood: Athletes are often in a good mood. This has a positive impact on professional and social life.
- Develop mental skills: physical activity provides good oxygenation of the brain, which improves thinking skills, memory and control of nervous tension.
- Improving the quality of sleep: sport is an effective tool to enjoy restful sleep. The feeling of relaxation helps the body to enter a calm and deep sleep.
Find a Partner
A training partner is a good ally to get motivated to do exercise. You can encourage each other and share great moments together. It is best to join a local sports organization, even an amateur group, with whom you can exchange tips and experiences about your favourite activity. Alternatively, you can participate in friendly sports events such as running, cycling or yoga sessions in the countryside.
Setting achievable goals helps maintain regular participation in sports. It creates a personal challenge and allows you to measure your performance progress, which improves your confidence and self-esteem. For example, run or swim a certain distance every week.
Integrate a different activity
Doing a different work out now and then helps you break the routine and develop new skills.
Consult a life coach
A life coach can help you better manage your daily life so that you can practise physical activity continuously without impacting your work or family commitments.
How to become better at your sport?
Consistency when training is crucial to achieving significant results. Progress in any discipline requires adherence to a program for each workout.
Working with a coach
The support of an athletic trainer is important for different reasons:
- Personalized program: An athletic trainer can develop a personalized training program based on your goals, fitness level, and availability. This can help you reach your goals and avoid injury.
- Supervision and safety: An athletic trainer can monitor and correct your technique. He or she also ensures that you use the equipment properly.
- Expertise: He or she has extensive knowledge of exercise, nutrition and health. He can answer your questions and provide valuable advice on how to maintain good health and how to get back into shape after you stop exercising, for example.
Participate in Competitions
Participating in sports competitions accessible to the general public is an effective way to improve your performance. Meeting many athletes and sharing festive moments can also be a source of motivation.
Take an Assessment Test
- Distinguish between levels of athletes;
- Identify the athlete’s profile to maximize their potential;
- Evaluate the athlete’s problem-solving skills;
We also have other cognitive, emotional, and personality tests if you would like a complete assessment.