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The great power of our mind

By Santiago Diaz Finochietto, The Current, Student Newspaper from Nova Southeastern University

When talking about sports, we tend to only pay attention to our physical capabilities and it makes sense. However, there is another component of great importance that we almost forget exists. This factor has a great influence on our daily performance and that is the mind. Our mind has an incredible capacity. It has no limits. Its power is extraordinary and that is why we must train that power and control the use of it. 

Our mind has a great impact on our daily activities, but when it comes to sports, exclusively, it is understood that the mind must be worked and trained with the same degree of importance as any other muscle. On repeated occasions, the lack of mental strength becomes evident when the performance of the athlete decreases due to the great pressures of the moment. Today, there are different variants and exercises that allow the creation of a level of mindfulness that give athletes greater power and control over their performance. 

Many teams, or even athletes in their own ways, turn to sports psychologists who contribute to the creation of certain techniques and mental tools that help the players achieve better participation and performance in their sport, thus accomplishing their goals. These tools or strategies include setting goals, using imagery and visualization and also training to recognize thoughts. 

When it comes to setting goals, athletes gain confidence since there is an increase in their motivation and determination to meet them.Consequently, fear and lack of self-confidence are no longer important. The practice of both imagery and visualization is considered one of the great tools for mental control. It is carried out through the use of mental skills in the visualization of specific situations. The ability to recognize our thoughts is key. Sometimes we tend to ignore our feelings and thoughts due to bad performances or poor results, but the ability to recognize those feelings helps athletes to, instead of overthinking those bad situations, transform them into positive thoughts. Once that is put to practice several times, it creates better mental strength and the athletes will not have to face lack of confidence to the same degree as before. 

Eleven-time basketball champion Bill Russell once said, “Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory.” 

Such a quote is evidence of the importance of our mind. Its power is from another world and not just athletes, but everyone, should seek to train their minds every day for far better results in every task we do.