Think positive – negative thinking can affect running performance – Brief Article
If you’re racing for new personal records, don’t dwell on your poor performances. Negative thinking, or visualizing yourself falling short of your mark, may decrease your chances of success. In a study of golfers, negative visual images of the ball missing the hole had a predictably negative effect on performance. While this study was done with golfers, other studies suggest the results might apply to speed as well. In a test in which subjects were directed to imagine performing a physical task at a slow speed, a fast speed, or no mental practice controls–speed of the imagined task predicted the outcome of the test. The power of mental imagery in sport performance has been widely noted. Keep your thinking and mental rehearsing of your upcoming races positive and it may contribute to new personal records.
(J of Sports Science, 2000, Vol. 18, No. 8, pp. 593-603; J of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 2001, Vol. 23, pp. 200-221)
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