Sport Psychology: Mental Training Essay

Words: 3547
Pages: 15

Sports Psychology: A Relationship Between Mental Training and Sport Performance James Dodson (1995) quotes Dr. Richard Coop, and says that he refers to sports psychology as "just mere helping people to clear away the mental clutter that keeps them from achieving their best" (p. 1). Dodson admits that as a golfer he has tried to break eighty strokes in golf, but did not succeed until he got help from a well-known sports psychologist. Before meeting his mental coach, Dodson tried to improve his game by buying expensive equipment such as oversized irons, gizmos, and lucky charms, but none of these worked. Once he started working with Dr. Richard Coop, he began to liberate his mind from its usual patterns and after a period of mental …show more content…
At the professional level, athletes look even for the smallest progress to increase their potential. Such is the case of sprinters were the difference of earning a gold or silver medal is about two tenths of a second, so "even the smallest improvement in performance is crucial," and here is were sports psychology steps in (Baum, 1999). Similarly, sports psychologist Johnson believes that "baseball is only 25 percent physical ... and that the difference between Triple A ballplayers and big leaguers is plain mental" (Rosellini, 1987). Certainly, mental training helps athletes deal with performance blocks; in other words, it helps them clear away obstacles that display themselves in different ways. For instance, many athletes make their mind up ahead and decide that they are not tough enough, that they lack the right genetic composition such as fast-twitch muscle fibers in the case of sprinters or slow-twitch muscle fibers for endurance runners or that they cannot tolerate a certain threshold of pain, and in such conditions this type of thinking limits their believe and ego (Lynch, 1994). Just as Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can do it, you are right. If you think you cannot do it, you are still right" (Lynch, 1994). To be competitive one must think like a champion and eliminate the "I can't". Even the best runners in the world adopt a winning attitude and refuse to think that they