Relaxation Techniques
Quick revise

Mainly used for somatic anxiety but does help with cognitive anxiety as well.

Used to create a calm and positive attitude before a competition and to assist with imagery training.

Self directed relaxation

Requires lots of practise to be effective

The athlete concentrates on each muscle group in separately and relaxes it.

The time to relax all muscle gradually decreases until it takes just a few seconds. At this point self directed relaxation can be used just prior to a competition or during the game itself.

Progressive relaxation training

Jacobsen (1932), sometimes called Jacobsen technique.

Athletes have to learn to be ‘aware’ of tension in muscles and the ‘let it go’.

Gradually muscle groups should be combined until the whole body can be relaxed on one command.

Takes longer to learn than self directed relaxation but is thought to be more effective.

The importance of mental attitude in sport

This video looks at top sports people who discuss the importance of mental attitude along with physical ability in sport. Includes input from psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, Olympic gold medallist and President of UK Athletics Lynn Davies, rugby player Ryan Jones, athlete Tasha Danvers and gymnast Louis Smith.


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