The Mentality Of An Athlete Essay

1254 words - 6 pages

A lot of times, sports seem like a contest of physical skill― a test to see who is the fastest or strongest, who has the best eye or the most endurance, who can jump the highest or can handle the ball the best. What a lot of people don’t know is that there is so much more to a sport than just the muscle and coordination. In order to excel in a sport, an athlete requires a lot of self-discipline, concentration, and self-confidence. It’s the mental factor that makes a difference. Former Olympic gold medal-winning decathlon runner Bruce Jenner once said, “You have to train your mind like you train your body” (Gregoire 1). Success or failure depends on the mental factors just as much as the ...view middle of the document...

Of course, the physical strength is very important. But the physical factors can only be beneficial to an extent. A lot of times, an athlete thinks they need to keep training and practicing all at once for a long period of time to improve. But that is not the case. Practicing for too long could make an athlete frustrated. Often times, the longer they work, the worse they get. Practicing too long could put too much pressure on an athlete and make them angry and frustrated. The longer they practice, the more tired they get, and that adds to the frustration and stress. It benefits more to practice for shorter periods of time, and gradually improve, then trying to do it all at once.
There are many different ways athletes use sports psychology. The way an athlete trains their mind often depends on what they’re trying to achieve and how they want to perform. One method an athlete uses sports psychology is goal setting. It is exactly what it sounds like― making a goal for themself and going after it. They create a clear, motivating long-term goal and break it down into smaller goals, and gradually work up to the main one. Goal setting requires patience and self-control; many times an athlete just wants to go straight to it without thinking it through. The higher the goals are set, the more work is needed to be put into it. To succeed, always set a goal past one’s limits. What’s the point of setting a goal if there is no effort needed to be put into it? Goal setting is a good way to motivate an athlete and improve.
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Another good way to use sports psychology is focus. Focus is the undivided attention of a particular skill to “shut out” the outside world. When focused, an athlete forgets about their surroundings and can keep their head in the game. This helps them because they won’t be distracted about what’s happening in the stands, and can focus on what’s really important― their performance. Focus is an extremely crucial part of a performance.
The mental state that comes after an athlete is focused is flow. Flow is a state of effortless concentration that results from a period of intense focus. When an athlete has a flow, everything stops being difficult and it becomes easy. They don’t even think about what they’re doing, it just happens. Entering a state of flow requires a lot of self-confidence and unforced focus. If an athlete wants to have a flow, they can’t have the desire to impress others. Being in a state of flow comes naturally, and the people watching you won’t matter. ...

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