The competition is on, and to be able to show all those well-trained motor skills, the athlete also must be able to manage thoughts and emotions that are elicited in many situations during the competition. Biofeedback training is a powerful tool to help athletes learn self-regulation skills and respond optimally to the many challenges the competition brings. However, just as motor skills require lots of repetitions, learning self-regulation skills will also take time and repetitions. And it is not only about learning the skills in the office and suddenly hoping that those skills will automatically transfer to the sport. From the office to the sport, to simulation of competitions and to competitions, there is a process to implement the self-regulation skills. Then, the next time you face situations such as a high score from the opponent, bad calls from the official, or environmental conditions getting out of your control, you will feel confident and in control because you have the tools to manage how you respond to it. Whatever the competition brings, you can still show your best without being defeated by your own mind.
Andrea C. Dias, MA, ABSP
Master’s degree in Sport and Performance Psychology
American Board of Sport Psychology: Board Certified Consultant in Sport Psychology