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Home   »  Martin Hagger

Martin Hagger

There’s so much we can learn from the way athletes train: from the way they integrate mind and body to improve their performance, to how they go from goals to reality.

This talk by Martin Hagger (a professor of psychology at Curtin University), turned out to be an interesting overview of sports psychology. It doesn’t go much deeper than the surface level though, and does attempts to cover a bit too much in one talk for my liking. Still insightful nonetheless.

  1. Top olympic athletes are similarly amazing for their achievements, yet they may have contrasting approaches.

  2. Sports psychology may help to explain many sports outcomes: Why do underdogs win despite the odds? Why do favourites lose? Why does an athlete who projects confidence lose? Why do some top athlete’s face drops in performance?

  3. Sports psychology is the study of mental preparation for sport, the techniques and strategies for performance and also dealing with stress and setbacks.

  4. Factors that are link to success to sport are: Motivation, Confidence, Performance Knowledge, Routines, Anxiety Management.

  5. Motivation — use “SMARTER” goals.

    1. Specific, Meaningful, Agreed, Relevant, Time-specific, Engaging, Recorded

    2. They may also have sub goals. Besides winning, a personal best for example.

  6. Confidence — An athlete must also be confident.

    1. Experience: How athlete are reminded of and use their experience

    2. Modelling:  Includes observation of and imagery to visualise what they want to do and have a “blueprint”, and also self-talk to motivate, focus, or calm themselves.

    3. Feedback: From coaches, on performance.

  7. Imagery — visualisation for preparation and rehearsal. Usually involves being in a quiet place to image the competition conditions, including sensations, and also contingencies.

  8. Anxiety/pressure management is key because competitions can be stressful. Athletes use relaxation techniques to manage that stress and anxiety, such as music, breathing, stretching, meditation.

 

Sports Psychology: Inside the Mind of Champion Athletes