Performance anxiety can cripple a sportspersons performance!
Most athletes are familiar with the following symptoms:
- Sweaty hands
- Heart racing
- Shallow breathing
- Stomach tightening
These physical symptoms are present during performance anxiety and can interfere with or even ruin a performance if an athlete does not recognize the symptoms early and deal with them effectively.
When an athlete knows that they can effectively harness their performance anxiety by implementing a well-practised intervention method, then they are better equipped to perform at the highest level of their physical skill.
Autogenics in sophrology
Autogenic training developed by Dr Schultz was one of the methods adapted for sophrology by Dr Abrezol, who adapted and developed the sophrology method to increase sporting performance. Dr Abrezol started by teaching sophrology exercises to the Swiss Ski Team to win Olympic Gold medals and then branched out to work with many top level sports men and women throughout Europe.
Autogenics is the ability of the mind to physiologically change how the body is responding to external influences. In fact you can use autogenics to help overcome various psychological or physiological issues.
The autogenic component of Sophrology as practiced during the dynamic relaxation exercises is a very valuable technique for performance anxiety. An athlete can learn how to create feelings of heaviness or lightness and differences in temperature in different parts of the body, thereby experiencing a state of enhanced physical relaxation, body health, mental calm and pure focus.
Regular practice of dynamic relaxation techniques helps to slow the heart rate, increase oxygen intake plus calm and focus the mind. All of which leads to improved skill and performance.
With regular practise of sophrology dynamic relaxation exercises, performance anxiety can be harnessed so that athletes can better recognize the symptoms and can choose an autogenic technique to use that will help them effectively change the body’s response to their anxiety.
When an athlete knows they can break the anxiety cycle and can use the energy of their anxiety in a more focused way they can adjust the energy level for a higher level of performance.