Sport Psychology – All Achievement Begins With a Thought…

London Life Coach & Sports Performance Expert Sloan Sheridan-Williams talks about achievement and sport psychology. Follow Sloan Life Coach on Twitter @SloanSW_London and check out Sloan’s Life Coaching website

I love the variety in my job and the fact that although I spend 75% of my time dealing with clinical issues and life coaching, I am also stretched to develop coaching talents in new areas. I have been working in Sports Psychology for a number of years now, triggered by my love of rowing and tennis which both tend to get a tad competitive. With the Olympics 2012 coming up, the demand for Sports Psychology has dramatically increased enabling me to work with some fabulous individuals in this arena.

A psychological approach to sport has often been dismissed because before there was evidence to the contrary many people found it hard to believe that the way a person thinks can have bearing on the performance in sport.  I am a definite advocate for mind power which is best explained by the fact that we first have to think of success before we can manifest success.

All achievement begins with a thought and being able to adapt this to our will enables us to achieve that which we did not think possible. This type of positive thinking that turns into positive doing is also referred to as success consciousness –  a state of mind in which you cannot see yourself as anything but a success. It is a way of ignoring negative thoughts and eventually not having them so you focus on what you can and will achieve.

The principles of success consciousness include:-

  • Creating I CAN awareness – i.e. anything accomplished by another can be accomplished by you
  • Creating I WILL attitude – beating procrastination and being enthusiastic about reaching one’s goal
  • Having a definite objective
  • Developing a do-it-now attitude

Many people never utilise the potential strength within their own personalities. With every physical training program one should incorporate a mind training program. This is where I and other Sports Psychologists come in.  The brain needs to be exercised as much as muscles do otherwise it too can atrophy.  As muscles respond to exercise more quickly when one is relaxed, there is now more advocacy for mental training and the fact that it should include positivity and relaxation, which is where my hypnosis and visualisation training takes effect.

The issue most psychologist focus on is that when the mind is worried or tense it slows down and retards constructive thought.  It inhibits one’s control of the mind and thereby allows you to become mentally subservient to doubts and obstacles taking you further away from your goal of success. We all know how easy it is to concentrate on failures, fears and pressures and lose sight of your goal. However too much confidence is also a trap, for example a single victory should not be seen as proof that you have totally eliminated your negative thinking. Just as one needs a coach for training, a mental sport coach can help you achieve the balance you need to get the results you desire and deserve.

I am often asked “What can mind power do for me, I am already training 24/7 physically and at the peak of my performance?”.  It is here when I explain to the client that employing the principles of mind power can accomplish the attainment of goals at levels far beyond those considered to be in their capacity. More often than not even top athletes only use a fraction of their potential if they are not engaged in mental training; mind power allows enhancement and unlocking of potential producing outstanding results in performance.

I look forward to writing more about Sport Psychology as I have been asked to produce a series of articles for this category. If you wish to pose a question about your particular sport or an aspect of it then either put a comment below, contact me directly or submit an anonymous question through our Q+A page.

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