With the 2018 Winter Olympics coming to a close in the next few days, you may be wondering how these word class athletes handle the stress of performing on an international level. These athletes do not just have to be in the best physical shape of their lives, but they also have to be mentally prepared.
And that is where psychologists can help. Jim Taylor, Ph.D. has been working with athletes to create an individualized program to allow each of them to perform to the best of their abilities (February 2018). He noted that the technique most commonly used with his athletes is mental imagery and described several benefits of this technique. First, mental imagery allows athletes to imagine feeling great during the event, which helps to boost their overall confidence level before they compete. Second, it allows the athlete to focus on what they need to do to perform their best.
So, the next time you are stressed about an upcoming event, channel your inner Olympic athlete and form a mental image yourself “winning gold.”
Taylor, J. (2018, February 5). Mentally Preparing for Olympic Sports Success. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201802/mentally-preparing-olympic-sports-success
Anissa Pugh, MA, LPA
WKPIC Doctoral Intern