The Golden Age of Psychology
With sport psychologists and techniques such as visualization and positive thinking to help them, there are more opportunities these days for athletes to master their mind-body emotional system. As elite sports get more scientific, researchers will study the body alarm systems like fight or flight. This is an avenue for athletes to increase their production through their own natural drugs rather than artificial steroids.
In part III of this blog, we will examine the ways that elite athletes are learning to get into the arousal zone with techniques involving imagery, breathing techniques, and channeling, such as changing fear to anger to dispassionate response, which seems to change the mind-body’s chemical state from negative to proactive. Many howto methods are springing up.
Pool Workout For Athletes Photo Gallery
At the Institute of HeartMath in Boulder Creek, Colorado, researchers are examining ways to bring human defensive responses from the primitive to intelligent stages. For many high achievers, including athletes, anger may be a wakeup call, and they’ve learned to transform that energy, that emotion, into fuel, but there are more efficient ways to get into thezone, says Bruce Cryer, executive director of corporate programs for the institute which is teaching zone-inducing techniques to turn anger and fear into the positive hormone DHEA by getting athletes to focus on the heart and its electrical system and their loved ones in crucial times during a match. Arousal Debate
Psychologists and biochemists agree that arousal alters performance, but there is debate about the differences between nervousness, fear, and anxiety. Despite the abundance of data, no theory has gained universal acceptance, said John F. Murray, a psychologist at the University of Florida and a former tennis professional.
Murray believes that arousal should be distinguished from anxiety and stress. Although anxiety usually involves increases in arousal, it is also accompanied by worry, concern, and negative thoughts and feelings. Stress refers to any external or internal stimulation that tends to grossly disturb stability.
Athletes can learn to raise their arousal levels as they increase their skill and learn to perform under pressure, many psychologists say. But you have to be careful you do not get beyond your arousal curve, said John Anderson, PhD, a sport psychologist who works with Olympic athletes and lectures around the world.
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