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A sport psychology perspective on disciplining your mind

Sport psychology is the discipline of understanding the mind and its impact on athletic performance. In this post I want to look at your thoughts and how is in control. To start lets ask a question. Where does your mind rest? This is an important question for each of us to look at, because it gives us an idea of if we are in control on our thoughts or they are in control. Either you will control your thoughts or they will control you.

Right now with so much uncertainty in the world, it is creating more self talk, as the mind tries to find some certainty and has more time to create stories. Our minds like certainty and patterns, and the stories we tell ourself is a form of pattern. When we let the stories to control our focus or where our mind rests, then it will be harder for us to focus, to perform and the negative thoughts will start to add up.

How we all discipline our mind will be different. However, one of the important things to look at is where you mind tends to rest, what do you tend to think about, and repeat over and over in your mind? When we can begin to recognize when we are telling ourselves stories and that our thoughts have a mind of their own, we need to find the ability to not only pay attention but to also find a way to control it. This is not easy, and will require a great deal of work. A big part of this work is done through practice, training our focus to go where we want it to go, and not being sucked into the story.

Stories

The stories you create in your mind many times will feel and seem real, but you have to understand that first you probably don’t have all the information and therefore the story has missing pieces of information. Then if by chance you do have all the information then you have to ask yourself if the way you are thinking is helpful?

From the moment we first wake up in the morning we make a choice, to either let the monkey mind win or to settle the mind on the present moment and on the tasks we are doing. Mindfulness is one way to help with learning to control the thoughts, and be able to redirect our thoughts and attention to what we want. It takes work.

So if you don’t have ways to help you control your mind and thoughts, then it might be time to start doing some deeper work on the mental side to the equation.

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Kate Allgood
Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction)
Masters General Psychology (with distinction)
Sports Hypnosis Certification
Muscle Activation Techniques Certification

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