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Arousal in sport

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Joseph Burgin

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of Arousal in sport

Arousal Joseph Burgin,
Ryan Hill There are two types of arousal, Physiological (Somatic) and Psychological (Cognitive) Arousal is a mental state of mind that gives you a mental and physical readiness for action The Suitability of Each Technique With Different Athletes In The Same Sport Arousal is closely related to motivation as it prepares the body for action How are you able to control psychological arousal?

Self talk - This is as simple as it sounds, the athlete can just talk to themselves, trying to reduce their arousal levles and see sense. For example a footballer could be over aroused right after they score a goal, they then tell themselves to calm down, carry on and go get another. This technique can also be used to increase arousal levels, if an athlete has had a bad day but still has to perform they can try and motivate themsleves, a good example for increasing arousal is a american footballer, he may have been sacked 12 times in a row during a game lowering his arousal levels, by talking himself in to performing better he can increase his arosal levels.
Imagery - An athlete can have either high or low arousal levels, imagery can be used to change either one. If the athlete has low arousal levels they can use mental imagery to help increase arousal, for example a golfer could have low arousal levels before playing, they can use imagery to picture themselves after the event holding that trophey or looking at the perfect score. Having this image in the head can increase arousal levels.
Affirmations - this helps relax and calm the mind when the techniques are practices correctly. Practicing these techniques can help reprogram the mind and the body, it can also help you deal with stress. Practicing this technique can get rid of mental negative bagage which may effect performance. For example a fly half (rugby player) may have a negative mind set from the previous game if he missed every penelty kick of conversion attempt, using this technique they can control their emotions which will effect their arousal levels. For a fly half arousal levels need to be under control in order for them to convert the kick. Positive and Negative effects of arousal on an athlete

When an athlete is performing in sport arousal is a big part in the game but it is important that the athlete can control their arousal levels or this can lead to weaknesses in their ability

There are several positives and negatives about arousal levels the positive benefits for the athlete happen when the level of arousal in the individual is at a stable controlled level. When the arousal levels rise past this level the negatives start to become obvious.

Positive Benefits;- (when arousal is controlled)
The athlete will be motivated to perform at the best of their ability when going into the game while being focused at the same time. When the athletes focus is primarily on the game rather than the opposition at the same time they will perform better rather than creating personal battles.

The individual will be full of energy leaving them physically able to face the challenge ahead and this will benefit them because they are focused on the game. Concentration will come naturally allowing the right decisions to come a lot easier.

Negative effects;- (the individual is over aroused)
When watching sport it is very easy to spot out an athlete who is over aroused although when actually playing it can be much harder to control when caught up in situations that do not go the way you would imagine.

Often athletes will lose their head get too involved in the game, this leads to rash decisions that could be avoided if they had full focus e.g. when a player feels as though the game is not going their way they could have another decision against them and this could top it off for the individual making them lose their temper and become angry this increases the risk of injury either to them or the opposing team, which could then lead to them being penalized.

Feeling defeated is another negative effect. Some days it seems it just does not go right for one team and everything they had learnt and put into practice in the training ground seems to have not played off when they start to be beaten they will have no motive to try and claw the game back into their hands.

Before events that have a lot of pressure attached to them athletes can become tense and panic that they haven’t trained enough, this could start putting negative pictures in their head and overall effect the performance ahead. E.G. in the Olympic diving event pressure is high and being tense panicking is understandable for a newcomer, this could force someone who is feeling the pressure to lose control of the dive. How are you able to control physical arousal?
Relaxation - this could be a simple breathing exercise class at the gym or listening to a relaxation track to help put you to sleep (for around half an hour to an hour). Relaxation is generally used to lower arousal levels either before or after a event. An athlete may be over aroused before an event and they need to bring those high levels of arousal down before performing to make sure they perform to the best of their ability. Relaxation is used in most sports to help prepare the athlete for a performance, a good sporting example that uses relaxation is; a boxer would use the relaxation technique, by using this technique before a fight it can help the athlete find the optimum level of arousal before the fight. It can also help the boxer lower his arousal levles after a fight, keeps then calm after a win or loss.
Cool down - This can either be before, after an or during an exercise. For example a player could become over aroused before an important game, a good way to cool down would be to try and change his thoughts and not think about the game. The athlete might cool down by using exercise, this could be stretching or slow movements. Cool down is not really used when an athlete has low arousal levels. A golfer might use this technique before a match, this might be by changing his thoughts, for example if they are worried about having a crowd watch them they will try and not think about it. Calming down could lower the arousal levels is they are over compensating for the event and getting to worked up.
Listen to music - For most athletes slow calm music will relax them and bring there arousal levels down. However in some sports you get the opposite, for example in boxing the boxer will have walk out music to help psych themselves up and bring their arousal levels up before performing. Another sporting example for using this technique could be darts, all darts players tend to come out to some music, this helps increase their arousal levels and also the crowds arousal levles, the crowds arousal levels increasing can again help the players levels increase because they want to impress.
Change of pace - An athlete might be moving too fast or too slow physically, this can make the athlete think too far ahead of the game rather than think of the moment, the opposite if they are thinking too slow. A change of pace can help the athlete focus on the right moment of the event. This can help either increase or decrease arousal levels. A sporting example that might use the change of pace technique could be football, a team may be losing a game and feel down hearted, a change of pace may help increase arousal levels and make them want to win.
Focus yourself - An athletes focus could be elsewhere anytime during an event, again this can either be because of high or low arousal levels. Focusing on the task in hand can help the athlete reach the optimum level of arousal. A good sporting example for using this technique is rugby, mainly relating to the fly half or the player who takes crucial kicks. The fly half has to undergo pressure from the team, the fans and the coach, focusing themselves on the taks in hand can help the athlete. This may include lowering or raising arousal levels, if they need to be increased they can tell themselves that this kick must go in, to lower the levels they can try and bloke everything else out and only focus on the ball and posts. JB JB JB Arousal in sport is important as it can effect the outcome of the sporting event. This can either be because arousal levels are too high or too low. Having different arousal levels can change the skill levels of a performer. It is important the arousal levels are controlled so performance levels arent affected in a bad way.

Low arousal levels are more common in difficult tasks or more interlectual events (cognitive), a sporting example for this is snooker as arousal levels are not high. High arousal levels are generally perfect for endurance activities that require persistance. A sporting example for this is football as it can involve endurance you need to be constantly on the ball. RT-H Most techniques can be used in all sports, the difference with each technique is the individual. Not all athletes will be able to use the same technique as their opponent and get the same results. For example when leading up to a fight in boxing they spend time focusing themselves in the changing room, to do this they might listen to music to help find the optimum levels of arousal. One athlete might use fast up beat music to raise their levels of arousal and find the perfrect balance, however this same music could effect the other athlete differently, it my distract them and lower their arousal levels. The other athlete might use a slower style of music to maybe relax them in stead of psych them up before the fight. This can be the same when using walk out music in a fight, for example on piece of music for one athlete may link to imagery, so when this music plays all he pictures is him boxing, with each punch relating to 'a word' or 'a beat' in the song. The other fighter might use the walk out music to all most self talk to hiself, this is by using a song with the correct lyrics making him want to fight, a good example could be the song with the words 'your the best around, no ones gonna ever bring you down'.

Also in sports not all athletes will use the same techniques, for example in golf you have Tiger Woods and Rory Mclroy, these have both experienced being a number one golfer but will use different techniques to help prepare themselves for a game. Tiger Woods for example may think using imagery is the best technique in the world to help him prepare for a game and find that perfect arousal level. However Rory might think imagery is pointless and has no affect on him. He might use self talk, Rory might find that when he tells himself what to do he will do. Both these techniques have the same final result but have used different techniques to get there. This can also be the same after a game to physically reduce arousal levels. For example Rory might use a relaxation technique after a game to relax the mind and just think about nothing. Tiger again may disagree with this and think that listening to music after a game will help lower arousal levels. JB
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