Positive Thinking and Sports Performance

When we talk about the concept of positive thinking, we refer also to our emotions. As stress and anxiety are closely connected and influence each other, that happens also with our emotions thoughts also.

For example, Predoiu in 2016 said that between emotions and thoughts it is a direct link (our emotions shape our thoughts), and for that, we can presume that was a  positive or negative effect on sports performance.

Other psychologists and researchers like Gerring and Zimbardo affirm that The Role of Emotions have the following characteristics:

  • Emotions are related to aspiration;
  • Directs and supports behaviors in order to achieve the objectives;
  •  Provides feedback in amplifying relevant load experiences;
  • Influences cognitive functioning (for example, when we imagine a lost contest or a situation with positive content, we can remember that event and we can force ourselves to smile).
  • Helps raise awareness of internal tensions;
  • Helps to regulate social interactions by manifesting prosocial behavior;

Epuran, Holdevici, Tonita in 2001, propose the following concepts to modify the subject’s thinking patterns in order to activate positive thinking:

  • Highlighting personal problems (in the waking state, the athlete is required to make a hierarchy of problems and symptoms, if there is a much more complex level that the athlete is unaware of, the interrogation occurs in a state of hypnosis or relaxation).
  •  Stopping negative thoughts. The athlete is helped to identify his “inner voice” and to voluntarily stop the intensity, content and expressiveness of disturbing thoughts.
  • Cognitive Restructuring. The athlete is helped to provide positive content to one or more negative situations, thus making a situation with a negative impact on the constructive one. For example, when an athlete loses a match, he may refer to that situation from the point of view of the benefits (he has gained more experience, knows what he has to improve for the next match, he knows his weaknesses and strengths, the advantages the disadvantages of the previous approach to the contest, and the fact that it is possible to approach the situation as the beginning of another period).
  • Desensitization, because “the traumatic events are reminiscent of the imagination, the subject being relaxed, these being associated with positive experiences”.

Positive thinking is necessary as an active factor of success and performance when we are happy and optimistic about the future, we can act precisely in the activation of professional performance.

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