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Mental Skills Tip: Learn to Control your Emotions

Mental Skills and Being able to Control your Emotions

The ability to control your emotions is a vital mental skill within sports. Our emotions can aid us, and help use achieve great things, but they can also harm us, distract us and impact our focus, confidence and commitment. Either your emotions control you or you control them. Learning to control them is not easy and takes a great deal of self awareness and hard work, but if we look at the great athletes most of them have learned this skill and use it to their advantage.


One of the emotions that gets us the most is fear, which can lead to a whole bunch of other emotions. There is a great acronym for the word fear. Which stands for False Expectations/Evidence Appears Real. How many times have you convinced yourself that soothing is real? Something that you really don’t have all the information around, and therefore don’t really know what is going on? We see the world as we are not as it is.


Our expectations and the “evidence” we see is clouded by our own perceptions. We then create stories around these expectations or evidence and convince ourselves that what we think is how it is, and it is true.


I have seen it time and time again how often athletes convince themselves of something based off of what a coach or GM said or didn’t say. A look someone gave them or how they were treated compared to someone else. Even if you do have all the information, does the negative thoughts and stories help you? Do they make you a better athlete? Do you gain confidence from them or help you to focus better? The answer is no. So if you don’t have all the information you can’t possibly know exactly what is going on, and even if by some chance you do, you have to ask yourself if how you are thinking and the emotions it creates helps you?


Learn to know yourself and how you tend to perceive things, and the emotions they create and the stories you create around them. When you can observe your self talk and emotions and not become them, and learn to still be able to act not based off of them but to be able to respond from the stillness within then you have learned to be in control, rather then your emotions running the show.


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Kate Allgood Masters Sport Psychology (with distinction) Masters General Psychology (with distinction) Sports Hypnosis Certification Muscle Activation Techniques Certification

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