Psychological Strategies to Enhance Motivation and Manage Anxiety
- Concentration/attention skills (focusing)
- Mental rehearsal/visualization/imagery
- Relaxation techniques
Concentration/Attention Skills (Focusing)
- The ability to focus on the actual task rather than the auxiliary surroundings and environmental events.
- Involves controlling the mind and centralizing the concentration at a single focal point.
- Distractive triggers include crowd, pressure, opposition, anxiety.
- A combination of these techniques allows a performer to visually create a representation of their performance, prior to execution.
- An individual mentally repeats movements and sequences they are about to execute, which helps in making the mind familiar with the motion (almost similar to ghosting lines on a paper before actually drawing them).
- Often applied in gymnastics, weight lifting and diving.
- Used to calm the mind and control excessive arousal.
- techniques include focused breathing, progressive tensing and relaxing muscles and mental imagery.
- Application of techniques often differ from sport to sport and athlete to athlete as each sport demands different techniques of concentration and relaxation.
- Setting an achievable and measurable target often provides directional motivation and sense of commitment.
- Helps athletes keep their anxiety under control and boost intrinsic motivation.
- Goals are often short term, which acts as checkpoints towards a bigger achievement or long term goal.
- Setting of goals should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Accepted, Realistic, Time Period).