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The Secret To Better Sports Performance

September 25, 2012

You think this is going to be complicated, right?  There’s your first mistake.  You’re thinking too much.

New research from the American Psychological Association has shown that relying on intuition rather than concentrating on one’s movements makes a big difference in the sporting arena, because it activates a different side of the brain:

For skilled athletes, movements such as kicking a soccer ball or completing a judo kick become automatic with little conscious thought — so-called “muscle memory.”

When athletes under pressure don’t perform well, they may be focusing too much on their own movements rather than relying on their motor skills developed through years of practice, said lead researcher Juergen Beckmann, Ph.D.

This startling discovery has produced the counter-intuitive evidence that thinking about trying to maintain balance, for example, can actually cause one to become imbalanced.

We’ve all seen examples of athletes under pressure who just seem to hit the skids and continue on a losing streak.  Is it because they’re, literally, trying too hard?

Sports psychology is a serious business, and improving your concentration where it matters can make the difference between winning, losing and how you play the game.  Give us a call if you’d like to know more.

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