Breaking it down – Sports Psychology
With Dr. Jason Scott Hamilton, Sports Psychologist
December 14, 2016
Miami, FL – What should matter to most athletes today is their ability to maximize their mental game. The sports competition is not only played on the field/court, it is really a mind game.
One of the greatest golfers in the world, Jack Nicklaus the Golden Bear has said: “what is above the golfer’s shoulders is more important than what is below it.” We are seeing that more than ever today. It should also be understood that it takes a great deal of physical skill to have any hope of high achievement in any sport. Yet, the higher the level of skill and competition an athlete reaches, the more they themselves identify mental factors as having a positive and or negative bearing on their performance.
The very best athletes (elite athletes) have the very best instincts – their natural unlearned senses are sharp and functional; so are their minds. They are complete and exceptional athletes. Performance-related Doctors and Sports Psychologist along with a variety of other sports experts agree that an athlete’s instincts can be sharpened, suggesting, therefore that Elite athletes or athletes, in general, can learn to develop better instincts.
The aim of Elite Sports Psychology is to help an athlete find the limit of their physical and mental potential and having found it to perform to it consistently. In other words, we will help the players to achieve their best game they have ever played and try to play to that level consistently.
Mind games can have a mostly positive impact, as an athlete can be determined a winner, but if channeled incorrectly can cause the athlete to lose focus and perform inconsistently.
The science of Sports Psychology is really about managing the Limbic system “which controls basic emotions, (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring, among a few other things). The pre-frontal cortex and the frontal lobe which controls executive functioning are of paramount importance for an elite athlete or any athlete, to maintain their best game at the highest level consistently. Ask any Elite level manager, coach or agent what distinguishes the best athlete from the rest. They will usually point to their heads.
The agents, coaches, and managers believe that anyone good enough to make it to the highest level of their sport must possess impressive physical tools. What Elite Sports Psychologists know is that it is the athlete’s mental toolbox that holds the difference between an ordinary athlete and a great athlete.