Martin will provide an overview of the kinds of techniques that elite athletes use to prepare psychologically for their sport, give details of the scientific research into these techniques and how they work, and how the techniques might be used by competitive athletes and coaches to improve performance.
The Making of a Champion
For most of society, professional athletes are superheroes – they inspire us to dream, challenge us to stretch our limits, and perhaps, most important of all – they convince us that ‘impossible’ is just another word in the dictionary. While we marvel at their poise and mental resilience, we’re most at awe when the game is on the line and they handle it with such amazing grace. There’s little question that talent fuels their greatness, still the overwhelming evidence continues to elevate mind over matter.
The greatest, Muhammad Ali, continually reinforced that “the fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” That’s what makes their performance look so effortless, it’s a relentless commitment to conquer their mind. Martin Hagger, is a professor of psychology and has been studying the behavior of the world’s elite athletes. In this conversation, I explore with him the rituals that distinguish the likes of Michael Phelps and Tiger Woods.