The Importance Of Athletes In Sports

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Many people grow up, or spend much of their childhood, playing sports. As they grow older though, many of them realize that being a professional athlete is just not in the cards for them (Keene). Not many athletes make it to the elite or professional levels, but those who do are bound to stumble on some road blocks at some time. With the amount of time they dedicate to their sports, those athletes will stop at nothing to continue their success. Sports psychologists bring new concepts to the table and are key members of athletic teams in modern sports culture. They are able to employ multiple techniques, such as imagery and visualization (picturing training in the mind prior to competitions), to assist the athletes in their never-ending quest for…show more content…
Richard Suinn found that visual rehearsal actually triggers neural firings in the muscles and creates a mental blueprint that can ultimately facilitate future performance. Using electromyographic equipment, Suinn discovered that skiers who simply visualized skiing downhill fired electrical impulses and produced muscle patterns almost identical to those found when the skiers actually hit the slopes…But it seems mental rehearsal can indeed help an athlete to fire up their muscles for optimal performance. According to Suinn’s remarkable studies, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio found that subjects who only visualized doing bicep curls, five times a week, for two weeks, increased their strength by 13.5%...But the science suggests you can use your mind to at least prime your muscles for growth and performance. Visualization is proving to be an understandably popular mechanism with elite athletes eager for marginal gains. The use of imagery primes their muscles to perform correct technique and to execute appropriate actions in competition, but it also conditions their mind to think clearly about how they will react to certain pressures, situations and problems.

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