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The Mental Game: How High-Level Athletes Remain Calm and Focused

The Mental Preparation of High-Level Athletes (briefing paper by the Dana Foundation):

“Baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra is credited with saying that “90 percent of the game is half mental.” Over the years, the line has been appropriated beyond the world of baseball to explain the importance of factors like focus and motivation to all high-level athletic performance. Shannon Miller, an Olympic Gold Medalist in gymnastics, agrees that mental preparation is key to success—and she says she couldn’t have gotten to the Olympics on physical ability alone. “The physical aspect of the sport can only take you so far. The mental aspect has to kick in, especially when you’re talking about the best of the best,” she says. “In the Olympic games, everyone is talented. Everyone trains hard. Everyone does the work. What separates the gold medalists from the silver medalists is simply the mental game.” For the past few decades, sports psychologists have studied the psychological factors that affect athletes—from beginners taking part in their first team sports to elite athletes at the top of their field. Today, neuroscientists are getting into the mix and attempting to understand the brain’s role in that mental game.”

–> Keep reading:  The Mental Preparation of High-Level Athletes

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Source of pic: BigStockPhoto.

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