Psychology in sports - how you can harness the power of your mind

"The mind is what drives a human being, if you have that belief - pure belief in your heart - that you want to be successful then you can talk to your mind and your mind will control you to be successful.

"My mind is always free. My mind is flexible. That is why I wear this band on my wrist.

"I want to show the world that you can go beyond your thoughts, you can break more than you think you can break".

Ahead of this year's London Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge talked about the importance of the power of the mind, and the connection between action and thought, as featured in this BBC article 

Mental health and physical health are often discussed and dealt with almost as completely seperate components within a mechanical machine. As I have written about extensively in previous articles and as I cover in detail in the various NowCounselling training courses that I design and deliver, I believe that they are completely overlapping and interlinked. I believe that overall health and wellbeing is a complete machine, a machine which is more computer like than mechanical. 

We store memories in the hard drive of our minds and they form the starting point for the thoughts, actions and feelings that we choose and generate. Our mind body connection is the basis for our dynamic behavioural system which motivates us to live our lives from moment to moment rewarding us with the satisfaction that we are able to feel day to day when we have achieved something. 

This works with absolutely everyhting. Whether that be a relatively commonly performed task or something more significant, such as a sporting challenge. We can harness the power or our mind to enable us to achieve things that we never before imagined that we could. 

Discipline, hard work, planning, courage, self belief, the self talk to remind ourselves to never give up - these are all key elements of sporting achievement. And they all involve lots of thinking. Whether you are training for a marathon or whether you would like to start doing some walking, your quest starts and finishes with what you choose to think. 

Whether you are a professional athlete, an amateur performer, a sports enthusiast or simply wish to get a bit fitter, some support with how you think can lead to a significant improvements in your results, and your enjoyment. 

At NowCounselling, we offer one to one coaching and mentoring as well as counselling - all of which can help address the key issues that can lead to the results that you want in your chosen sport. We also offer training courses for groups, teams and organisations and can design a sports psychology programme specific to those needs. 

Lets finish with the words of Kipchoge, who looks beyond sporting achievement for the potential rewards available by pursuing running as your sport. 

"My dream is to make this world a running world. A running world is a healthy world. A running world is a wealthy world. A running world is a peaceful world. A running world is a joyful world.

"There is freedom in running. Go and run and your mind will be free. That is what is needed in the whole planet."

Although his dream may at first sound grandiose, the only thing that we can control is our own behaviour. Furthermore, the only time that we can control it is right now. So in search of a more peaceful future, a walk or a run is a very good place to start.