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How to use sports psychology in your everyday life

Updated on September 26, 2013

When it comes to sports let’s face it; a large part of the game is won even before the game is played. Many athletes and sports players will attest to the fact that if you have the right psychology and mindset in place, half of your battle is already won. The game begins psychologically long before the players take to the field.

Today we are drawing on songs, quotes, popular media references and words uttered by famous people in sports who unwitting provide profound wisdom in their words that can benefit us in everyday situations as we go about our lives.

So put on your sports cap, read on and be inspired.

Usain Bolt: Claim to fame

  • For the uninitiated Usain Bolt is only … the fastest man alive!
  • He boasts a number of records and feathers in his cap, the most recognizable of which is being the first man to become title holder to the 100 meter and 200 meter world records.
  • He is also the first person in history to win 6 Olympic gold medals in sprinting.

Benefit from the mindset

This a true champion mindset with which to approach your day, it is a simple mathematical formula that adds up to the potential for greatness. Think about eliminating distraction to the point where you crystallize all of your energy into pure, unadulterated effort and then reap the rewards thereafter.

Now imagine tackling your day with the same kind of streamlined focus and enthusiasm. What we can take out of Usain Bolt’s words is to be singularly determined and present in our own lives, to give things our best shot and most importantly, not to be bothered by the noise and opinions of others in your own pursuit of happiness.

Michael Phelps : Claim to fame

  • Michael Phelps has been described as one the most decorated swimmers of all time.
  • He holds a total record of 22 medals, 18 of which are Olympic medals.

Benefit from the mindset

What is it that sets you apart from the rest? Do you have any distinguishing talents, skills and abilities that give you the edge? If you do, why are you not using that talent and ability to help you get ahead of the crowd?

Take a leaf out of Phelps’s book; the only way in which you will be able to excel and really stand out is to be true and authentic about who you are as a person. If you’re nursing a skill, but you simply don’t have time or don’t seem to be making head or tail of things that you need to get done, ask yourself what excuses you have given yourself that allow your off the hook. Reexamine what it is that you need to get done in order to live to the best of your ability.

Success and excellence calls for a degree of bravery, engage your highest abilities!

Venus Williams: Claim to fame

Part of the famous twin duo of Venus and Serena Williams. With her name up in lights in the tennis arena, she is known for her fast serves, winning attitude and has in great part been responsible for raising the stakes and defining a new era for women in athleticism. She presently holds seven Grand Slam titles.

Benefit from the mindset

Sure, the attitude may come off as sounding a bit overconfident or arrogant, but is it really? When you are swimming upstream against all of the competition that you face in everyday life, can you really afford not to think of yourself as the best?

At the end of the day, many of the people and obstacles that we imagine to be in our path to success are exactly that, a figment of our imaginations. Challenge yourself to channel out negative voices and silence your inner critic in the face of all competition and tasks that you have to do in your life. If you can win the battle that you have with the entity between your ears, half your battle is already won.

Mia Hamm: Claim to fame

  • Mia Hamm is one of the soccer worlds living legends.
  • Though retired her accolades precede her and she is most famously known for having been the forward of the US national soccer team.
  • She is as well counted as one of Fifa’s 125 best living players and has been inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame.

Benefit from the mindset

Even if we are unable to see the bigger picture and the end goal of what we desire in life as we strive toward it, we still need to make the effort. As Mia Hamm so eloquently puts it, she was building a fire, so too do we need to stoke the furnaces of our dreams each day by adding a little effort to it at a time (our fuel). Timing is crucial in everything that we do; so too are our own efforts, WE need to choose our moments, believe that every little effort counts and then go forward and reach for our dreams.

Sports terminology manifesto

Food for thought

When it comes to sport in general, there are a number of ideas that we would benefit from taking seriously when applied to our own psychology. Take a look at this Sports Manifesto and apply it to your life.

1. Tackle your problems

2. Shoot down negative attitudes

3. Pitch new ideas and information

4. Be the 'All star' of your life

5. Life doesn't offer the rewind and action replay function - be proud of your choices the first time

Sports psychology ear candy

There is nothing quite like a rousing, blood stirring, fire pumping, adrenalin rushing sports song to get you going.

Here are some awesome sports stadium songs that do the rounds around the world that you need to absorb with every fiber of your being. Embody a winning psychology, indeed it is the only one that will take you places.

1.) Do you have ‘The Eye of the Tiger’?

The theme song from Rocky III is no doubt one of the best songs when it comes to psyching you up for doing your best in any field, whether it means hitting the gym, doing a task that requires a lot of focus or even just getting a simple task done is ‘Eye of the Tiger’. Listen to this one to fire up your senses, get up and get motivated.

2.) Tubthumping- I get knocked down (but I get up again) by Chumba Wamba

Fun times, good times and bad times. We have them all; we just need to remember that all are a part of our lives and of living. The most important message that we can take out of this is to get up again as the song suggests.

3.) We are the champions - Queen

This song has the inimitable flavor and taste of victory written all over it! The lyrics ‘we are the champions’ are uttered repeatedly and it has been played the world over in different stadiums, having even become an anthem of FIFA’S 1994 world cup. It has earned the kudos of being a rock ballad that has moved people to tears in a unifying sense.

From movies, to quotes, to songs and the actual moves themselves, if you examine it closely enough, sports and sporting activity has the power and the potential to move us into a more positive space of mind and wellbeing. Share your favorite, quote, movie and sports move with us and tell us how it encourages you move to be more upbeat.

How do you find new ways in which to exercise your mind?

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