Blog post

Sport Psychology

Who would think that working on your psychology will improve your performance? Not a lot of people. Most people know that our thoughts impact our behaviours on a daily basis but will not see the link with our sport. And it makes sense in a way, because if psychology is the science of the mind which tells me if my parents impacted my personality when I was a kid, how can this science make me enjoy AMRAPs?

A bit of history

In the 18th century, the upper class was the only one playing sports like football and rugby. Those sports were played mostly in college. The lower class weren’t playing this type of sport. They were playing what we call violent sports with only two rules: “not killing” and “not biting”. Pretty interesting right? But how is that related to us with our modern type of living?

Scientists have proved that playing a sport helps lowering stress, prevent diseases, increase focus and better awareness during our life. All those things have been noticed by the upper class at the same time. They believed that allowing the lower class to play real sports and adding them on their weekly schedule would help improve their work mostly in factories where they needed active people, who couldn’t get sick and would have enough energy to work for hours. It worked pretty well.

Now that we know it’s effect on our body and brain. What’s its effect on the mind? And why do elite athletes focus on the mind as much as their training.

The mind

Your brain tells your body what to do. If your brain is happy, it tells you to smile. If your brain is angry, it dictates you to scream.

Before starting a workout, if you start thinking of how fast and strong others are compared to you, you get anxious and you want to quit. Elite athletes can’t let this happen. They know that by improving their own self esteem and self love, they will climb mountains and achieve anything they put their mind into.

Working on our mind makes us less likely to get overwhelmed by external situations. Only knowing that some things are not under your control and that you rather think and work on what’s under your control will make you enjoy your training even more.

What do we have control on

  • training
  • diet
  • sleep
  • recovery
  • mindset

How do we work on our mindset?

Someone once asked me what I think before starting a workout, I responded that I thought about my breathing. Breathing is the cue that helps me listen to my body and therefore being aware of how I move. Another day, they asked me about what I do when I wake up in the morning, and I said that the first thing after turning my alarm off, is taking two deep breaths in and reminding myself of two things that I am grateful for. Usually that, I am alive and that is going to be a wonderful day.

Those two things lead my mindset to where I want it to be. It’s not much but it works. We don’t need fantasy to better our life, we just need one cue that will make the difference.

The key to life is running and reading

“Running because when you are running out there, there is a little person that talks to you, and that little person says ‘oh I’m tired, my lungs are about to pop off, I’m so hurt, I’m so tired, there’s no way I can possibly continue’ and you want to quit right? If you learn how to defeat that person when you are running, you will learn how to not quit when things get hard in your life. 

The reason that reading is important. There have been millions and billions and billions and gazillions of people that have lived before all of us. There’s no new problem you could have with your parents, with school, with a bully, with anything, there is no problem you could have that someone hasn’t already solved and wrote about it in a book.

So, the keys to life are running and reading” – Will Smith

– Sofia 🙂