Friday, April 24, 2015
Sports Psychology: Arousal Regulation
Arousal regulation refers to entering into and maintaining an optimal level of cognitive and physiological activation in order to maximize performance. This is the ability to control levels of activation or relaxation and how one manages competitive stress. Arousal regulation helps a coach and player know where an athlete is most comfortable..
Brian Cain states, “many players arrive at practice with what I call cloudy minds. They are thinking about schoolwork, their social lives, or the latest tunes they want to download. But for the next two hours of practice you don't want them thinking about the past or the future, just the present1.” For baseball and softball players, it is important to be able to block out distractions that can hinder their mental focus.. As a coach it is good to study your players and know what level of arousal each player can give the best performance in. Bombardier states that, “Athletes that can 'act as if' have a much better chance at performing at or near their best than those who act as how they feel2.” Whether it is a high level of arousal or low level of arousal as a coach you should know if the athlete is playing at the level they should be. For the athlete, controlling their arousal regulation helps them know if they are ready to go or not and gives the athlete a chance to know what they have to do to get ready for the performance they are about to give.
Being able to grasp the aspect of sport psychology is a very big deal, especially being a player. Players you go through so many different situations during games that they may not handle the right way or even know how to handle them at all. By learning how to take control of each situation that arises gives players an upper hand on your opponents and lets them keep the control of their own mental game.
1Cain, B. (2012). Practice makes perfect: Getting players to focus will help your team get the most out of its practice time, here’s how to make it happen. 27-31.
2Bombardier, M. (n.d.). Ultimate fighting has many similar mental hurdles. Special to collegiate baseball. 1.