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Mind Matters | Why is Mental Health a Crucial Ingredient For Athletes’ Success?

By The Bridge, 01/13/20, 8:30PM CST

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That ‘sport is 90% mental’ - what separates a gold medallist from the silver medallist is the ability to hold nerves till the last point of the match is played!

What is sports psychology? Let’s decode the speedy growing field of developing mental toughness in the athletic realm. Have you ever seen a kid bungee jumping? If so, have you seen him with a harness on or off? Mental training in sport is somewhat like the harness that we have seen on the kids’ bungee jumping. How? It is the external support that an athlete requires for performance enhancement, to build consistency in performance, and to be able to sustain the pressure that the elite sport demands. It adds a dimension to the training that binds the technical and physical preparation, streamlining the practice.

Sports psychology is the ‘scientific study of the psychological factors that are associated with participation and performance in sport, exercise, and other types of physical activity.’ In real life, it has various names to it like mental training, mind coaching, psychological skills training, etc. In India, the field of sport psychology is in its nascent stages and is thus, garnering a lot of attention with athletes all over the world talking about it. As we have popularly heard, ‘sport is 90% mental’, what separates a gold medallist from the silver medallist is the ability to hold nerves till the last point of the match is played!