Sunday, September 28, 2008

How to Mentally take on Sports

Over the past two weeks, one thing that has really bothered me is the on going discussion about Vince Young and his on going mental issues. During the course of this time I've seen writers post articles about why they believe Vince Young is in the shape he's in, and sports analysts try to give him the "peptalk." Then there are the many fans who feel that this is an opportunity to take shots at a millionaire who was seen at one point as suicidal. Give me a break. When did we did we all become experts in the field of mental health. Would I really listen to Terry Bradshaw on my marital issues or about finances? So then why am I going to give him the luxury of telling someone who he really doesn't know to just "snap out of it." Luckily for us there is a field called sports psychology that is full of psychologists completely devoted to athletic issues. So here are some mental tips from these experts to help you deal with sports' particular short comings:

Dealing with an Injury

Accept Responsibility for Your Injury
This is not to say that the injury is your fault. What this means is that you accept that now you have an injury and you are the only one that truly determine your outcome. By taking on responsibility for your recovery process you will find a greater sense of control and will quickly progress in recovery, rather than dwelling on the past or blaming the injury on an outside factor.

Set Goals

Just because you are injured doesn't mean you stop planning or setting goals. Rather than viewing the injury as a crisis, make it another training challenge. You goals will now focus on recovery rather than performance. This will help keep you motivated. By monitoring your goals you will also be able to notice small improvements in the rehab of your injury. You will feel more confident that you are getting better and improving.

Using Self-Hypnosis to Visualize Success (like shown here)

The first time you try imagery it's helpful to have a skilled facilitator or practitioner walk you through the process. This is referred to as guided imagery. You can also use CDs or tapes, or record your own script to use as your guide. After you are comfortable with the technique, it's easy to practice these techniques on your own.

1. Sit in a comfortable place where you wont be interrupted.
2. Relax your body and take several long, slow breaths.
3. Close your eyes and create a vivid and convincing image. This image can be one you've previously experienced, or one you simply desire.
4. If you become distracted or find you are thinking about something else, simply acknowledge it and let it go.
5. Focus on your breathing if you lose the image.
6. Maintain a positive attitude.
7. Imagine the sights, sounds, tastes, feelings, and even smells of the experience.
8. Take note of as much detail of the scene as possible. What are you wearing, who is there, what are you hearing, how do you feel?
9. If your imagery session is not going the way you want it to, simply open your eyes and start over with your breathing.
10. Always end an imagery session with a positive image.

[ via Part 1, Part 2]

No comments: