Ep. 004 Athlete Story Podcast
Sports performance and anxiety. Sports Pscyhology for Athletes I
Sports and performance anxiety is the theme for this first part of a series on Sports Psychology For Athletes with UK Clinical Sport Psychologist of the Year 2017, Phil Johnson.
Have you ever been in a situation where you thought :
How can I do so well in training and still not perform in competition ?
You know that it is something going on in your head that you are not quite in control of – but what is it ? Where does it come from. How can it impair your ability to perform even though you have the skills ?
As you might suspect and will hear in this episode, it is a whole dynamic of interrelated mechanisms. Your wellbeing and mental health – how you feel – tends to affect how you act and how you act tends to affect – for example – how well you perform….. So when something is affecting your wellbeing it interferes with your ability to perform, it can be physically, socially, psychologically (– and spiritually probably also, though we don’t get into that here.)
For example physically would be everything concerning your body and its functioning, Socially is about your relationships. And psychologically is about how we are wired basically. If you have a little insight in psychology you have probably heard or read how we get programmed from the earliest stages of life.
It is important to do this full assessment, because psychology is about context Phil says. Mind and body work together and isolating any one aspect from its context doesn’t get you to the root of the issues. The roots for performance anxiety can go deep – very deep. But it is possible to dig them up and Phil has some pretty cool techniques that he uses to help the athletes and performers he works with.
He helps us understand what blocks performance and what you can do about it in this episode on sports and performance anxiety
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Sports and performance anxiety. Psychology for athletes I
About our guest
Phil has a background in both family therapy, exercise physiology and sport psychology which allows him to work with athletes as whole persons in their full context.
With over 2000 clients total and having helped hundreds of athletes across 25 different sports – amateurs and highly professionals – Phil possesses not only the academic knowledge but the practical experience that is so valuable to understanding our particular context as athletes.
Definition of performance anxiety
A fear of failure that starts a physiologic “fight-or-flight” reaction that occurs when a person has to make a performance – also known as “choking.” (the free dictionary)
Choking is defined as “performing more poorly than excepted given one’s skill level” (Beilock & Carr, 2001)