"When the pace starts to feel hard she admitted that it’s easy to go, “Oh man, I have a long way to go. This is hard and I’m not doing as well as I wanted to,” but she [her sport psychologist] said you have to be able to pull yourself back into the moment so you can focus on what is ahead of you. “You have to be able to focus on what you can control,” said Randall.
Mindfulness training has been gaining popularity over the years. "Supported by results both in the lab and in practice with athletes, mindfulness can bring the mind and body together to improve concentration, increase awareness, and enhance athletic performance." Athletes at the University of West Virginia were introduced to the practice after their former Athletic Director saw how it helped the Seattle Seahawks win the Superbowl.
Holly Holm spent her time leading up to the biggest fight of her life preparing mentally and physically. She visualized over and over what the fight could look like. She even previewed the head kick that would win her the title.
The Mets are trying to get the players to slow down and asses what is happening around them. The team's sport psychologist even brought in a few Navy SEAL troops to talk about the breathing techniques they use.
“He’s [the sport psychologist] a resource,” said John Ricco, the assistant general manager. “You make that resource available to the players the same way you make a pitching coach and hitting coach available. So if they need help in a certain area, there’s a guy there that can help them.”
"Michael Conforto, the Mets’ rookie left fielder, who just last year was playing college baseball, uses a similar technique. When he comes to bat, he pauses, takes a deep breath and focuses on a spot on his bat."
“Especially in a match like that where I felt so much energy out there,” he said, “I was really just trying to focus on the basics as much as I could.”
Anderson credited the win to his preparation.
“I’ve got a great team behind me,” he said. “... I’ve been working with a sports psychologist as well. Obviously, I think that’s been a big benefit for me, just being more comfortable in these big positions.”
"And everybody has different issues, good or bad, that they carry with them on the court. It affects you. And for me, it affected me to where sometimes I would be overly aggressive and, in other ways, it would affect people to where they can't perform on the court. I was always able to perform, but sometimes I would act out and I wanted to see a sports psychologist. Because to me, I didn't need a psychologist to get my mind right. I needed a psychologist to help me perfect what I love, and I can't perfect it when I'm on the bench or when I'm getting suspended because I'm playing upset.
That's why I really had to thank my psychologist, because without her, I would not have been as locked in."
"By the time Sunday’s NFC Championship game begins, Russel Wilson already will have seen a lot of it.
In his mind, that is.
Wilson has been into visualization from an early age, and it’s become part of his preparation that has led to his separation in his three seasons as the Seahawks’ quarterback.And Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field is no different. There has been the video study. There have been meetings. There has been practice. There have been walkthroughs. But there also has been visualizing what he expects to see in the game."
Listen to Alessandra's interview by poker author and House of Cards radio host Ashley Adams. She discusses how a typical poker consulting session would go and gives Adams a few pointers for his own poker game.
(Interview begins at 7:53)
Many athletes are gearing up for the 2014 Winter Olympics by honing their mental abilities. Short track speed skater Eddy Alvarez and biathlete Tim Burke are utilizing visualization to prepare for the Games.
Check out their stories below:
Ahead of the pack: Eddy Alvarez
Tim Burke hopes improved mettle helps bring U.S. biathlon medal
Enjoy this collection of articles, videos and audio clips. The aim is to help inform and educate readers to happenings and concepts in sport psychology.