Sports CBT

I coined the term 'sports CBT' to describe how I help professional athletes improve their performance, deal with stress and cope better with set backs by understanding the 'winner's mind set' and what factors contribute to ensuring success in sports. Of course sports psychology is nothing new; however the particular contribution that behavioural research, neuroscience and cognitive psychology brings to the field of emotional regulation, resilience and performance has not yet been introduced to the sports 'arena'. At least not in a way that encourages major professional clubs and individual athletes to take any notice.

But all that is about to change, attached to this article we have the testimony of a professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, who benefits from this type of psychological training. When the body rests, at times it is appropriate for the mind to take over and continue the training. For example when a fighter is going through the unpleasant experience of 'cutting weight down' prior to a competition. Normally this is the time when a fighter is at his weakest point and tends to just cut weight, dehydrate and rest.

Other factors that can be enhanced through sports CBT, this may be motivation, self-belief, confidence, an improved routine, ability to adapt or as I already mentioned psychological resilience.

Techniques used in sports CBT vary from imagery work and hypnosis to calming techniques, self-talk, game planning and dealing with 'what if' situations.

Take a look at the below video if you are interested in how sports CBT helped the athlete win the fight.

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Chislehurst BR7 & London E14

Written by Daniel Mirea

Chislehurst BR7 & London E14

Daniel Mirea is a Consultant CBT therapist, lecturer and writer who trained and qualified over a 25 years long career in a range of cognitive and behavioural psychotherapies, accredited practitioner with British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies, UKCP, EMDR UK & Ireland and a Senior Associate at The Royal Society of Medicine.

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