Have you ever found yourself struggling to maintain your motivation, focus, or confidence during training or competition? If so, you’re not alone. Many runners, from beginners to elite, experience these challenges. However, the good news is that you can overcome them through sport psychology training. In this blog post, I’ll explain the benefits of sport psychology training for runners of all abilities and provide practical mental skills that you can use to improve your running.
What is Sport Psychology?
Sport psychology is the study of how psychological factors influence sports performance and
Developing mental strength in any sport is essential, but it’s often overlooked. Many athletes focus on their Physical, Technical and Tactical development, but this leaves Psychological development unchecked. Think about it…when was the last time you actually set time aside to train your mental skills?
WHAT MENTAL SKILLS COULD I USE TO DEVELOP MY RUNNING?
There are LOTS of mental skills that runners can use. Some of the best tried and tested skills for runners include:
Visualisation: Visualisation (also known as mental rehearsal or imagery), is the practice of creating mental images
WHAT ARE MENTAL SKILLS?
Mental skills describe the tools for the mind that individual athletes can learn and develop to help them perform at their best and to reach their full potential.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST COMMON MENTAL SKILLS?
Some of the most commonly recommended mental skills for athletes include:
Visualization: Visualizing or mentally rehearsing successful outcomes and scenarios can help athletes prepare mentally and increase their confidence.
Focus and Concentration: The ability to maintain focus and concentration during training and competition can help athletes stay in the moment and avoid distractions.
If you’ve reached the point where you’d like some sport psychology support, the first step is to find an accredited sport psychologist. An accredited practitioner is someone who has completed rigorous training through a ‘governing body’ such the British Association of Sport & Exercise Science (BASES) or the British Psychological Society (BPS). They are practitioners who adhere to high standards and work under their governing body’s code of conduct.
So where do you look?
Word of Mouth
When searching for a sport psychologist, you may be able to get recommendations from people
If you’re thinking about a career in sport psychology then I don’t blame you! Working in sport psychology is a fantastic career path with multiple opportunities in a range of sports. Since I became an accredited practitioner, I’ve enjoyed working with athletes from grassroots to elite. It’s a rewarding role and every experience is different. Still interested? Read on for my four steps to get you into the profession.
1 – Choose your Accreditation Route
Before we start, I should clarify a couple of things. Firstly, I’m talking about how to become
Are you an athlete that struggles with motivation? Does your lack of motivation hold you back from achieving your full potential? The truth is that athletes in all sports and all levels struggle with motivation. If you’re working towards a long term goal, It can be difficult to stay motivated for a long period of time.
The good news is that there are simple steps you can take to stay motivated. I work with athletes from grassroots through to elite to help them understand how they can harness motivation, even at
I’m Ali Mahoney, a Sport Psychology Practitioner who provides One to One and Group workshops on a range of topics. I also run an on-demand Running Psychology Programme.
My passion for working in this field stems from supporting athletes to reach their full potential. Traditionally, sports people focus on their physical, technical and tactical development. Building mental strength is just as important, but this is often left to chance. That’s where my work comes in.
Why do Young People need Sport Psychology?
A question that I’m often asked is
If you like watching sport documentaries and are looking for some new suggestions then check out my top 5 below. They’re in no particular order. I’d also love to hear your own recommendations too so please drop me a line with your own favourites!
THE LAST DANCE
What’s it about? Basketball, winning, team culture, high performance, goal setting, team politics, champion mindset and much more. This documentary series follows the life and achievements of Michael Jordan, a legend of Basketball. The insight into the achievements of both Jordan and the Chicago Bulls
What is it?
Sport Psychology can be described as the study of how psychology influences sports performance. Our thoughts, feelings and behaviours can all have an impact upon the way we approach sport, but quite this area of sports performance can be left unchecked.
Traditionally, there is a focus on the technical, tactical and physical aspects of sport. For example, teams and individuals might spend hours improving fitness, technical ability and tactical aspect of performance. But…how much time do we allocate to improving our mental fitness to perform?
There’s an urban quote that suggests:
“Sport is 90% physical and 10%
The use of Sport Psychology support has been gaining momentum in recent years. More athletes, coaches and team managers understand the benefits of engaging with it, but there are still some myths flying around. So here’s a few that I’ve debunked:
It involves sitting on a couch and sharing my problems
No! Not usually! Sport Psychology support comes in a range of shapes and sizes depending on your needs. When I work with individual sportsmen and women, I often meet in a venue that the athlete is happy with. This could be