Category: Imagery

The Mental Side of a Physical Injury

Imagine this: You are an athlete - and not just any athlete - an elite athlete.  You are a highly successful player in the sport of your choosing.  The highlight of your day includes stepping onto the field, ice, or court.  The sport drives you, and it serves as your passion for countless years.  Many of your best memories come from your sport, but so do a few of your worst.  After suffering from 5 concussions, you have limited your ability to focus for more than a ten-minute span.  Having a dim light on causes you pounding headaches.  Feeling faint and dizzy has become apart of your physiology. And worst of all, the thought of getting back into the sport you can’t live without shoots a bout of anxiety and fear ripping down your spine.  It does not take an athlete to understand the effects of an injury due to sport.  It does however, take the right knowledge to understand how to best treat those injuries.  A study published by the Journal of Sport and Health Science in 2012...

The Power of Visualization: The Next Step Towards Success!

Visualization has repeatedly been shown to improve performance and increase the likelihood of achieving one’s dreams and goals. Visualization is a mental skill technique in which people see or form a mental image of themselves performing a skill or achieving a certain level of success. In Harvey Mackay’s article, “See it, believe it: Success starts in the mind’s eye”, Mackay emphasizes the importance of incorporating visualization into your life and the powerful effect it can have on the attainment of your goals. The article discusses how Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey, and Olympic athletes use visualization to assist them in reaching their dreams. He cites a research study conducted in Russia that compared 4 groups of Olympic athletes with varying levels of their training devoted to mental skills, specifically visualization. The group that had the most success in their overall perform...

Are You Overtraining?

It’s not unusual for athletes to train according to the slogan “no pain, no gain.” Indeed, this is a worthy idea, unless it leads to overtraining. Sport Psychologist Kirsten Peterson, Ph.D., addresses overtraining in The Sports Psych Handbook (edited by Shane Murphy). She defines overtraining as an exercise program that leads to “an undesired outcome of fatigue and performance decrements.” In other words, over-trained athletes are not completely burned out, but their bodies aren’t experiencing enough recovery time. Physical and psychological symptoms, writes Peterson, include (partial list):
  • Muscle pain or soreness
  • Weight loss
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance
  • Overuse injuries
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional/motivational changes
The easiest way to see if you are experiencing overtraining is by taking your resting heart rate after you wake up and before you go to bed. Usual...