|Doreen Greenberg is a Certified
Sports Psychology Consultant, she obtained her Doctorate from Temple
University in Psycho-Social Interaction in Sport and her Master's
degree from Villanova University in Counseling and Human Relations.
She is an Assistant Professor at Stockton. She has experience with
collegiate, olympic and professional athletes. Doreen is also a
member of the USOC Sport Psychology Registry.
By Doreen Greenberg, Ph.D
You can get MIND POWER. You can train your mind, like you
train your body for sports, to do
whatever you want:
|To relax and calm down before competing
To focus and concentrate
To build up your confidence -whenever you want
In these next few MIND POWER articles, you will get a brief
overview of the mind-body connection . I'll give you some general
basics of a sports mental routine. But you need to come up with
your very own, unique system - one that works just for you. These
guidelines will just be the starting points for developing your
own mental routine for competition.
Two key points about MIND POWER:
You definitely need to PRACTICE these mental exercises.
The most important time for mental preparation is 30 minutes
MIND POWER NUMBER ONE - RELAXATION
a competition do you often feel nervous? Anxious? Fearful? There
are good nerves and bad. What are "good nerves"? Good nerves mean
you are sharp, you feel excited, you feel motivated. A little bit
of arousal can work well for you.
It is also possible to have too much nerves!
can't think straight
body feels frozen
All of this is completely normal. It only means that you are human
and that you care about what happens. But you need to learn how
to get it under control so you can perform at your best.
Mind Power - Relaxation Goals
yourself to be calm and relaxed
to block out the fear
a "relaxed focus"
Mind Power - Relaxation Strategies
1. A BREATHING EXERCISE FOR RELAXATION
The center for breathing is located in the
part of the brain where all the centers for life are located. The
actions of the heart, the blood flow, muscle activity, emotions
and concentration are controlled in the same brain area. So , changes
in breathing affect all these things. It
is one of the quickest ways to calm down.
through your nose; focus on your belly movement in and out. "
your attention on the breath going in and out. Concentrate on the
point just under your nose where the breath enters and leaves. "
time you inhale, say to yourself "in" and as you exhale, "out."
attention to the rhythm of repeating the words. Whenever you notice
your mind wandering -- gently bring it back without effort. "
the "quiet" time between the exhale and the inhale. "
your breath flowing out in a cool stream of
purple mist "
extra tension release, end this exercise with a big, audible SIGH
at the end
2. A QUICK BODY SCAN FOR MUSCLE TENSION
a few moments to scan your body for tension and posture. Keeping
tall and upright gives you more energy.
your body for strain and stress by mentally going throughout your
body, from head to toe and checking the tension level, from your
jaw muscles to your feet.
up any tight areas.
We all have the power to create pictures in our minds. We do it
all the time - we daydream, we remember things , we hope for something.
Here is a way to use those imagery skills for calming down.
Metaphorical Images -- For Tension Release
the color red -- see the red fade into a pale blue.
the scream of a siren in the night -- hear it soften into a whisper
of a flute.
yourself in a dark tunnel -- feel the tunnel opening into a light
and airy beach.
Meditation, or quieting of the mind, has been used for thousands
meaningless, rhythmic sounds consisting of 1-2 syllables
not worry about how well you are doing this technique - it doesn't
One of the best ways to deal with stress is through humor. When
you laugh, smile, or giggle - there is an immediate biological response
that releases the tension in your mind and body.
A final word about Winning! Winning should be a voyage, not
a destination! You need to let go of concentrating on winning -
and rather focus on each moment of your performance.
want to be free of the need to win
is what will give you the power
you let go of the obsessive need to win - you decrease your stress,
anxiety and tension- And
increase the probability of winning
Next time - MIND POWER NUMBER TWO -Concentration & Focus