How Athletes Can Reach Their Potential
As millions of people watched the Olympic Games this winter, many wondered how these athletes compete at such a high level. How did these men and women become – and remain – such elite competitors? Although many people have a basic understanding of the incredible athletic abilities and training regimens of Olympians, fewer appreciate the mental skills that allow athletes to improve their performance. Oftentimes, it’s these mental skills that help Olympians recover from an injury or make a comeback.
Sports psychologists have specialized training to help all competitors – professional and non-professional – improve their athletic performance and satisfaction. Although there are many skills that help Olympians and other athletes reach their potentials, here are a few important areas sports psychologists emphasize:
- Injury recovery – Tolerating pain and maintaining commitment to training regimens
- Manage pressures of competition – Process emotions and thoughts associated with athletic competition
- Improve training – Foster motivation, goal setting, and confidence to complete rigorous training routines
- Enjoyment – Facilitate and instill a greater sense of enjoyment with athletics under stressful conditions
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