What psychological factors in sports serve to improve performance?

Psychological factors– High performance athletes ensure that 90% of their sporting success is due to their ability and mental training . In professional sport of high level there are no big differences between some athletes and others in terms of potential, training or physical ability. Therefore, the psychological factors in sport are differential and determinant to achieve success.

Throughout the last years, the interest to know the psychological factors in the sport, has been increasing. This fact has caused the professionals related to psychology. And sports to have formulated the following question. What psychological variables determine sports performance?

What is clear is that mental factors affect athletic performance, not only in high level athletes. But for anyone who practices a sport. Currently. There is evidence to support a hypothesis: in sports, whether elite or leisure. It can be useful to develop certain psychological tools that increase the capacity and sports performance.

What are the psychological factors in sport that improve athletic performance?

psychological factors in sports

We all know that practicing sports on a regular basis directly benefits our health. It has also been more than demonstrated that exercise has a positive influence on our mental health. And is that practicing sports has many benefits for our mind. Including greater attention, greater ability to work with others. And a potential increase in our self-confidence.

On the other hand, and following the thread of the introduction, the psychological factors in sports that most influence performance are self-confidence, motivation, emotional control and concentration.

  • Motivation: it is very important in any task in which we want to optimize performance, especially in sports. Think that athletes are continually exposed to ups and downs, triumphs. And defeats and that in many cases in intrinsic motivation, love for what they do. What leads them to get up after a bad pass, a disastrous launch or a lot worse than they had in mind.
  • Concentration: on the other hand athletes need a great capacity for concentration. All actions, even the simplest or the most intuitive, demand concentration. Any poorly executed movement can cause a failure, a fall or an injury that ruins months of preparation. Therefore, rarely, no matter how demanding the training, an athlete is distracted.
  • Emotional control: developmental training exercises that help control emotions or doubts can make the difference between the success or failure of an athlete. In this sense, many of the times that an athlete’s performance is affected by low emotional control is because he has let emotions affect his concentration.
  • Self-confidence: finally, the confidence in one’s own personal abilities to carry out an action successfully is an essential condition for which to achieve victory.

Mental techniques to control psychological factors in sport

The practice of professional sports requires a high degree of emotional involvement. This is because the psychological characteristics of the activity of the athlete are determined by the actions of the game. By the competitive objectives and by the traits of the athlete.

First, we must identify and analyze the weak and strong points of the athletes, in order to apply personalized techniques to optimize their performance. And confidence. Otherwise, the intervention may turn against the athlete himself.

The most used techniques to improve sports performance are:

  • Control of attention: refers to internal and external attention. Internal attention is when an athlete focuses on aspects that take place in their own body (thoughts, self-talk, sensations or movements). External attention refers to when an athlete focuses on issues unrelated to him.
  • Establishment of objectives: they help athletes to have a global vision of the work they must be doing and of the objectives they must achieve to achieve their final objective.
  • Self-instructions: are short messages or verbalizations that we tell ourselves to motivate or concentrate. It is about using rational, positive, logical and realistic self-messages.
  • Relaxation: a relaxation technique is any method, procedure or activity that helps a person reduce their physical and / or mental tension. They generally allow the individual to reach a higher level of calm, reducing their levels of stress, anxiety
  • Representation mind: l as mental representations is symbolic forms of reproducing reality in her absence. In order to make sense of what surrounds us, representations are organized in structures. And are constructed from a social context specific to a given group.


Muscle regeneration after sports is inescapable. Do you organize your week based on your training plan? Do you give everything, but do not see results? No matter what your goals are: the body needs rest to improve. Here we give you 9 tips for a quick regeneration after the sport.

Higher, faster, more weight! At the beginning of the training, the motivation is high, but if you dispense with muscle regeneration when you finish, you may end up paying dearly. Those who go through training usually end up suffering the dreaded stiffness, overtraining and an increased risk of injury. In this way it quickly arrives at a stagnation phase in the training from which it is difficult to exit.



Do you start the morning at your best since you get up? Do not? Your muscles either after a sedentary day. Take these factors into consideration and prepare your muscles for the next warm-up workout.

A relaxed cooling will calm your nervous system, your circulatory system and your muscles while the post-workout regeneration begins.


Exercising new movements is important to keep progressing. But do not start crazy. Better technique than weight. Work with the deadlift to achieve perfect movements. Exception: Discuss with your coach how you can increase the intensity of the exercises more effectively when the deadlift is too heavy. Do not do this exercise again until you have passed the regeneration phase or increase the intensity of the exercise until the movements are impeccable.


Do not leave rest in the hands of fate. Give as much importance to the intensity of your training as to post-training regeneration. In the event that you feel that your plan has not worked as expected, you can always modify it in the following weeks. 2 or 3 days without exercise per week never hurts.


In the first 45 minutes after training, the body consumes nutrients with special efficiency. Take advantage of this window of time to eat or drink products rich in proteins that favor a rapid regeneration of your body. Liquid foods such as our Whey Protein Shakes  or  Vegetable Protein Shakes   are best suited  as they should not be digested previously.


The protein is the foundation of the musculature. It contributes to the development of muscles and maintains its volume in times of caloric deficit. It also makes you feel sated for longer than with carbohydrates. Thanks to protein foods protein foods  you will be facilitating a quick regeneration after sports and in your day to day. A sweet protein bar in the afternoon instead of a bun is a good start.


White flour, sugar and trans fats do not add anything to your body. Alcohol hinders regeneration and must be consumed exceptionally. Opt for whole grains, raw cocoa; in other words: do not eat processed foods because they have the least amount of natural ingredients that promote regeneration after sports. It is essential to provide your body with a wide range of nutrients . Clean foods are important suppliers of nutrients and are ideal for regenerating more quickly.


The principle is easy: the keys to a quick regeneration are a reasonable and regular training, a good diet and adequate rest . While you sleep, the body is in total rest and can regenerate without interruptions.


Those who are always in tension do not have available energy to regenerate themselves. Adapt your training sessions to your day to day. Doing physical work after exercising your muscles is as counterproductive as running from one side to the other continually stressed.


20 minutes of breathing exercises, meditation, light stretching or an afternoon walk will help your mind to rest. The body and the mind are one. A rested mind will help your body to regenerate.

The body needs rest to develop its muscles, burn fat and stay in shape. This regeneration occurs especially after sports or on days when you do not exercise.

During these periods, the body rests and reconstructs the structures overloaded by the intense stimulation of the training. The body also perfectly remembers the physical overload and regenerates the muscles to place them in the relaxed state that prevailed before the training.


In the event that the training stimulus is new or superior to the usual, the body will try to improve through pure and hard regeneration so that the muscles can face the same overload more easily in the next training session. This effect is known as super compensation.

The duration of the pauses necessary for optimum regeneration or to get the most out of the effect of super compensation varies from one person to another . Age, health, weight, physical condition and form are just some of the many decisive factors in determining the duration of regeneration.

As a general rule, you can easily notice if you can repeat the training done next time. These are the most important indicators:

  • No trace of stiffness or heaviness in the extremities.
  • Muscles rested in your daily movements.
  • You run to catch the bus or loads with heavy objects without disheveling.

You feel generally rested and fit.

In the case of light or moderate training, a pause between 12 and 24 hours is enough to regenerate completely. Intensive training of certain muscle groups requires a break of 3 or more days . But all this depends on each person.

Finally, highlight that sport, especially the high level, has much to do with suffering and pain. Not only with the one that produces the exercise itself. But also with the one that indirectly derives from it.

So, if you ever have the opportunity to be present at a download session done by a physiotherapist to a professional athlete you can see this suffering reflected on his face. That is why sport is a magnificent school for our personal resilience. And that many of the techniques that have been implemented in it from psychology can be used in other contexts of high competitiveness and demand.

Roger Walker

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