Autosuggestions, statements and internal or external talk with specific positive content, can evoke and maintain optimal combat state. Also, suggestion and autosuggestion can be used to overcome emotional and mental blockages, through positive mental training.
The main thing that assures their reception is the degree of individualization and suitability to needs, good formulation and plausibility that allows them to anchor consistent expectations and positive representations with effect on behavior and mental states.
Mental Programming exercises makes the effort by imagining a positive course of events to increase the athlete’s confidence in his ability to perform, self-efficacy and prepare for the confrontational moments of the competition. In mental programming techniques, anchoring in the most productive mental states is achieved the by most desired performance.
The best solution for negative anticipatory thoughts is to stop the negative thought. I always explain my clients the mechanism of having bad thoughts and how to combat them.
- For example; if my client repeats (to himself, in his mind or even with loud voice) that he will be defeated, when he has a fight with a certain opponent, or if for various reasons the game is interrupted, or even that he can’t perform at his higher standards, by a certain technique, it is NECESSITY to interrupt the flow of thoughts.
- The stop is done by self-commanding “STOP” (steered on a firm tone).
- Next thing he has to do, is to focus on something pleasant.
- The procedure is: Negative Thinking – STOP – Relaxation – Pleasant Thoughts.
Another approach to get rid of anxiety, by eliminating muscle overload with modern relaxation techniques, is the Autogenic Training. The technique is based on desensitization-relaxation and was developed by the German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz.
In sport, both Schultz’s training method and Jacobson’s progressive relaxation method, works wonderfully and both technique involves learning alternative exercises for relaxation and muscle strain. So, the client is more aware of what the tension and relaxation is, as well as the way they live their tensions internally. This awareness, makes the client to acquire some type of relaxation and becomes able to calm down his neuro-vegetative system (so the blood pressure decreases, as well as the beating heart), replacing the subjective state of anxiety with the inner silence.
With the help of techniques and methods like: conversation, storytelling, imagination, focusing attention, progressive relaxation, autosuggestion and autogenic training, the athlete develops a series of psychic abilities and skills. Abilities such as: body awareness, anxiety control, positive thinking, self-confidence and mental strength, which for sure makes all the difference in achieving performance.