Positive Self-Talk Improves Performance

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Positive reinforcement is key to athletic success, and it all starts with an individual who wants to excel.

Dr. Robert Bell, professor of sport and exercise psychology at Ball State University, uses a movie clip from the football film Any Given Sunday to show how positive thinking can be implemented during a pre-game routine.

"I love this scene," Dr. Bell says. "If people are just going to take a few minutes to tell themselves positive statements, it will help give them the confidence to look at the competition as a challenge."

He explains that athletes view athletic competitions in one of two ways: a challenge or a threat. If an athlete views a game as a threat, his mindset tells him that something bad could happen, resulting in a poor performance.

"Great athletes look at the situations as a challenge," Dr. Bell says. "They say to themselves: 'I can do this, I can rise up, and I want the ball.' Athletes need to convince themselves that they are ready and they want the ball."

An easy way to bolster your confidence before stepping out of the locker room is to speak positive, encouraging words to yourself. Being confident is critical for success—not just in athletics, but in the game of life.

Dr. Bell suggests first trying a quick, confidence-boosting technique prior to practice, and if it's all good, implement it into your game day routine.

Photo:  mindnmusclefitness.blogspot.com

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