Sport Psychology – Mood has an affect on exercise and sport performance. The mind set a client is in ultimately determines the results they achieve. Some say motivation and mood are better pre determining factors of performance than ability. The mood state someone is in can also apply to the concept of emotional intelligence (EI). It is stated that a high ability can lead to a great player but coupled with EI can lead to a great player and talented leader who exceeds their potential. EI can be described as being able to recognise emotional states, assess the affects of these emotions and ability to find the best emotional state for this situation. The ability to assess a situation, realise the appropriate mood/emotions needed to perform better and utilise these is the main relationship of sport and EI. By choosing the correct option in relation to emotion the physical side will follow accordingly, this indicates how important EI and Mood State are on exercise performance.
There are certain areas that can be trained or learnt in order to increase EI, these areas include:
- Emotional Self awareness
- Self awareness of emotional states in performance
- Identify strategies to regulate emotion
- Set emotionally focused goals
- Engage in positive self talk
- Role play to develop emotional control
By becoming aware and confident of ones ability control can be gained over the situation. By regulating ones emotion, setting appropriate goals from these emotions and being positive in ability the outcome of the situation can be managed to a degree.
This can be done by limiting negative internal factors (such as stress, doubt etc) and increasing positive methods such as visualisation, imagery, and self-confidence. If these factors can be monitored than you will become relaxed and focused on the goal at hand, thus increasing likeness of succeeding. This is also relevant to external factors, positive external factors include family in the crowd, familiarity with ground and conditions whilst negative factors can be away crowd, environment, unfamiliar territory, plus pressure from peers/coaches/supporters. Once again these negative factors need to be blocked out whilst positive factors need to be managed in order to fully succeed. Of these two positive factors intrinsic is the most important with self confidence and relaxation techniques helping to increase performance substantially.
The next time you are competing in sport or even working out remember that the mental aspect is a large component and if you can manage it correctly your performance will already be increased! By managing external and internal factors and also by training and using the steps to increase EI an athlete’s performance will already be increased before any physical work needs to be done.