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Posts Tagged ‘focus’

Dorfman’s Mental ABC’s of Pitching

Harvey Dorfman was a sports psychologist who counseled many of baseball’s most successful hitters and pitchers. Dorfman worked with major league baseball’s top athletes, and published prominent books on the mental aspects of baseball. Among his list of star clients are sluggers Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Jose Canseco, and Cy Young Award-winning pitchers Greg Maddux, Bob Welch, and Roy Halladay. In 2000, Halladay set the record for highest ERA ever, among MLB pitchers (10.53) with a minimum 50 innings pitched. His performance continued to slump so he was sent not just to the minors, but all the way down […]

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Attentional Focus and Self-Talk

Attentional Focus and Best Use of Self-Talk in Closed Skill Tasks International rugby stars and place kickers Dan Carter, Ronan O Gara and Jonny Wilkinson, among many others place the ball, set themselves, say something to themselves and mostly go about their business and put the ball between the posts. So what exactly are they saying and why? Research has shown that the use of psychological techniques can enhance sporting performance (Krane & Williams, 2006). Use of psychological techniques, cognitive strategies or mental training has been commonly used by high performance athletes for many years. Aided by the growth […]

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Understanding “The Zone” in Sports

Athletes need to play into  zone, it does not just come to you.  Once you understand the parameters which allow you to enter, raise, expand and enhance the zone, you will have a change perspective in what you do. What the playing zone is and how it works goes like this: The zone, like sport, works on space and time. And you have to think of the zone as a room in your mind. To enter this room you require stillness of the mind, which reduces the thoughts, which creates space, which the zone loves because that’s what it […]

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How to Prepare Mentally for a Big Game

All the hype and distractions leading up to a big game can be overwhelming for athletes, coaches, and even parents. In order for athletes to perform their best when the stakes are high they need to avoid: 1. Getting caught up external distractions 2. Conjuring up self-limiting internal distractions External distractions can become a challenge for some athletes. Worrying about the expectations of others, personal relationship, your opponent, school, and the media are all examples of external distractions. They distract athletes from focusing on the steps they need to take to achieve their mission. However, the most harmful distractions […]

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Sport Psychology Lesson by The Phillies

One of the most powerful and simple mental game techniques I teach to help athletes and teams improve their performance is focusing on the process of preparing for and executing each play. When athletes and teams face high expectations, focusing on end results can cause undue pressure. Pressure can cause you to tighten up, have doubts, and over-analyze your performance. The Philadelphia Phillies have been to three consecutive National League Championship Series, and with the off-season addition of Cliff Lee expectations are as high as they’ve ever been for the whole team. Rather than get distracted by all the […]

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Maintaining Focus in Sports

The ability to concentrate in the present and to focus on the task is very important in achieving peak performance in sports. During a 2-3 hour competition, an athlete will switch his or her concentration on and off repeatedly with the ebb and flow of competition. Turning concentration on and off makes it more difficult to get into a rhythm. Total concentration occurs when an athlete becomes totally involved in the task, feels that time is suspended, and loses the sense of being separate from his or her surroundings. Thus, keen focus during competition has the following five basic […]

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