How can psychology affect performance? addresses the various ways that the mind can influence performance. Psychology refers to the many aspects of the mind and how it affects the body. Psychology is one of the biggest determinants of winning and losing at the elite level.
Athletes who have their psychology right, perform at their pinnacle more consistently over time and in various contexts and under various types of pressure. An athlete needs to be able to cope with pressure well, whether it be external or internal, so that they can focus on the competition. Some sports have particular psychological aspects to them, including trash talk or banter, that the athlete needs to be able to deal with effectively.
Elite athletes have various motivators for to succeed and know how psychology affects their performance. They then develop strategies to enhance motivation and manage anxiety. Many will also have methods that they use to ensure that their body is at an optimal level of arousal for their particular sport. A great example of an athlete with good psychology is Roger Federer, who is known for his calm nature on the tennis court, regardless of the situation.
The HSC PDHPE syllabus has three (3) dot points under How can psychology affect performance?:
- anxiety and arousal, and
- psychological strategies that enhance motivation and manage anxiety