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By: Lisa Payne

Can sports psychology help your fitness game – even if you’re not an athlete?

Sports psychology seeks to improve athletic performance, well-being, developmental and social aspects, and issues associated with sports settings and organizations.

Techniques focus on the mental side of sports which often includes:

  • Imagery, vision and concentration exercises
  • Goal-setting and strategy
  • Leadership, team-building and communication skills
  • Clinical interventions (i.e. eating disorders, substance abuse, etc.)
  • Increasing motivation and self-confidence

However, whether you’re an athlete or not, these sports psychology tips can boost the mental side of your workouts.

10 Sports Psychology Tips That Can Improve Your Workout

These 10 Sports Psychology Tips Can Improve Your Workout

1. Set Realistic Goals

Setting lofty, unrealistic goals can lower confidence and increase frustration. Instead, set goals that are challenging yet attainable to stay motivated.

2. Face Challenges with a Plan

Discover your mental hurdles along the way. Know your strengths and face obstacles by thinking ahead with a positive progressive plan.

3. Manage Stress

Work, family and overall life stress can drain your energy for exercise. Create better balance by scheduling workouts as non-negotiable self-care time.

4. Positive Self-Talk

Negative self-talk will only make the process more difficult. For every negative thought, replace it with a positive one.

5. Stay Consistent

Maintaining a consistent workout schedule will expedite results and increase longer-term motivation.  

6. Use Mental Imagery

Visualize what you want to accomplish in your workouts. Picture yourself taking the challenge on and making it a success.

7. Mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness can help narrow focus to your progress and not compare yourself to others. Negative outside influence can detract from your success.

8. Push Harder

When you’re faced with a tough workout, giving up is the easier option. Instead, find it in you to work a little harder, even if it’s just one more push up. 

9. Don't Let Setbacks Win

If you’re not where you’d like to be or are derailed by an injury or illness, stay present and get back to your routine when it’s healthy to do so. Setbacks are apart of life but the key is to maintain a positive outlook.

10. Recognize Milestones

During the sweat and tears, it’s easy forget to give yourself recognition. From making it to the gym to losing those last 10 lbs., celebrate your hard work.

Strengthening your workout mindset allows you to work through fitness plateaus and stagnant motivation. Whether you participate in sports or prefer spin class, sports psychology tools can re-route your fitness game towards a stronger direction.