The Mental Side Of Sports & How It Impacts Your Performance

The Mental Side Of Sports & How It Impacts Your Performance

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When you play sports, it’s easy to think that you’re facing a physical battle. Whether you’re trying with all your might to hit a home run or you’re pushing your body to the limits as you race across the finish line – it’s always physically demanding.

But, what we also forget is how mentally demanding the world of sports is as well. In many ways, the mental side of sports is the key to success or failure. The way you approach things mentally can set up how you perform physically. The best way to explain this is by looking at a few of the critical mental battles you face when playing any sport.

Confidence Issues

Problems with your confidence are the most common mental battle you’ll face in sports. Even when you play for a local team with your friends, you experience confidence dips. When you’re low on confidence, you doubt everything that you do. No matter how physically impressive you are, your brain just can’t get you to make the right decisions, and your form dips. But, when your confidence is up, you feel like you can do almost anything. Take Tiger Woods as an example; his confidence was in tatters as he couldn’t play the way he wanted to. But, he slowly improved, believed in himself, and won a major the other month – it’s all mental!

Dealing With Negativity

No matter what level you play at, you’ll always face negativity. Ironically, the better you get, the more negativity you face. People start to expect certain things from you, so they’re more critical. If you reach college or professional level, then you get hit with negativity from so many sources. Loads of great young athletes like Parker Sniatynski have had to deal with heaps of negativity and find ways to combat this and continue performing. Things happen, the media latches on, and your social media is filled with hurtful comments. This impacts your performance as you can’t focus properly because you’re aware of all the negativity. It gets you down, so your form dips. This happens even when you’re playing soccer in the park with friends; if someone criticizes you, you take it to heart, and you can’t play to your full potential.

Handling Pressure

So many sportsmen and women have issues handling pressure. We’ve all seen top stars who are physically fit and excel all throughout the season, but they fall at the final hurdle when the pressure gets too much. This is such a mental battle as you know how much is at stake. You crumble under pressure, and you fail to live up to your potential as you’re worried about how much you can lose. It’s so easy to see this in practice; watch any tennis match and see how a player serves when the match is beginning and when they’re just about to win. They get tight, their motion doesn’t quite flow, and the errors creep in.

You see, the mental side of sports is so important as it directly impacts your physical performance. No matter how long you practice for, if the mental demons circle in your head, then you’ve got a problem. So, if you are interested in playing competitive sports, then focus on the mental side of things above everything else/

Safety Tips for a Long Road Trip Over Summer

Safety Tips for a Long Road Trip Over Summer

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If you are getting ready for a road trip over the summer, whether for business or for pleasure, then there are plenty of things to be planning for. The route, pit-stops, planning what to pack, and driving safely are all things to be thinking about. So one of the things that you can think about doing is making sure that it is a fun and safe drive, regardless of where you’re going. So here are some top safety tips to help you plan, have fun, but be safe.

Buckle Up!

This is something that might seem really simple and basic, but making sure that you buckle your seatbelt is such an important one; it can save your life. So even if you’re going to be driving for a long time and the seatbelt can feel a little uncomfortable, then you need to remember to buckle up. Accidents in a car or truck is one of the number one cause of death in the US, as any trucking expert could tell you. But when you wear a seat belt, you reduce the risk of injury by half. So everyone in the vehicle should be buckling up!

Give the Car a Clear Check

Before you head off on a long journey, then you need to check if your car is road worthy. One thing to do before you go on a long journey is to check a few specific things on your car. It could be a good idea to check at a local garage if you’re not too sure what you’re looking for. Otherwise, you could quite likely be able to do things yourself. Some of the things that you should be checking are:

  • Checking your tire pressure
  • Look at and check the tread levels on the tires
  • The oil levels in the car need to be checked too
  • Are the wiper blades working, just in case you experience some hazardous weather

It is so important to make sure that you deal with anything before it gets worse, so if after these checks there are a few things left wanting, then get them resolved before you head off on your journey.

Make Sure You Rest

Driving when you are tired is something that is really dangerous for you, as well as for other road users. When you feel tired, your ability to react in a timely manner and make some decisions, as well as keep your car in the driving lane that you are meant to be in. So making sure you’re rested before going on your trip is so important. But it is a good idea to think about things like medication that can cause you to become drowsy. So have you been taking any for things like hayfever or allergies? They should be avoided when heading off on a long trip. Boredom can also cause problems and sleepiness, so having things like music to listen to is really important, as well as having passengers stay awake with you, if you need their help and support.

The Benefits of Horseback Riding

The Benefits of Horseback Riding

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The increasing pressures of the modern world and the continuous strive for that elusive work-life balance leaves many people looking for ways that they can escape the busyness of everyday life and take time to focus on something enjoyable. Finding a hobby is an ideal way to take time away from the stresses and strains and do something that you love. There are many hobbies out there to choose from woodworking to windsurfing and everything in between. One hobby that lots of people enjoy is horseback riding, this ever-popular activity has many fans and offers a whole host of benefits, take a look at how horseback riding can be beneficial and how to get started.

Getting Started

If you’ve never even sat on a horse before then expect to take it slow to begin with as you familiarise yourself with your new hobby. To get started you may want to do some research into reputable riding instructors in your area. Check with them which equipment they will be able to provide you with, and what you will need to bring along for yourself. Lots of people take weekly lessons to begin with as they learn this new skill.

Health and Fitness Benefits

Having a hobby that involves exercise is a healthy choice, and will not only provide you with some downtime but will also help to keep you fit too. Your movements and positioning when riding a horse mean that you will use your core and legs, which will provide a workout for the muscles in these areas.

It’s not just your core and legs that will benefit from horseback riding. As well as giving your muscles a workout, horseback riding also helps to develop your coordination skills and balance, and as you learn how to ride these should improve further.

Getting involved in caring for the horse, such as mucking out the stables will provide you with some cardio exercise too!

Wellbeing Benefits

A hobby such as horseback riding enables you to get away from your worries and focus on being in the moment. When riding a horse, you need to pay attention to what’s happening around you and also to your horse to keep you both safe. This is a great way to break away from thoughts of the stresses and strains of your day.

Being outside in the fresh air gives breathing space for you and your thoughts and will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated.

If you decide that you love horses and horseback riding, you may decide that you would like to own a horse. There are many things to consider when choosing to own a horse, and you may want to get an equine attorney to help you with the legal processes involved. Practical considerations to think about when deciding to buy a horse include, the costs involved in buying and then caring for a horse, where the horse will be kept, along with how much time you have to take care of it.

Humble Yet Incredible Ways to See The World

Humble Yet Incredible Ways to See The World

Want to see more of the world but are held back because of money? Travel can be expensive, but there are ways you can get out there and experience more without it breaking the bank. And it’s always so worth doing so, travel improves your life in so many ways and it’s never a waste of time or money. Here are some ideas for going about it when you don’t have too much to spend.

Road trips

Is there anything better than the wind in your hair and the open road? Going on a road trip makes you feel free, you can go wherever you want and take it at your own pace. You could follow a set route, or create your own based on what you want to see or do. How about hiring an RV and road tripping across America, or explore Australia with a Sydney Ute van hire? You could drive from south England to Scotland taking in the rolling English countryside, or you could drive all the way through Europe, taking in views of cities, countryside, mountains and beaches depending on the route. You could take a car and stop along the way in expensive motels, hostels and campsites. Or you could choose a vehicle which is accommodation and a mode of transport in one. Either way, it doesn’t have to be expensive and there are lots of companies out there that specialise in people wanting to take one way road trips. You can purchase food cheaply from supermarkets and utilise buffets and chain restaurants to keep food costs down. If you want to cram in as much interest and see as many locations as you can on one trip, then this is a great way to do it.

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Camping

Camping is cheap and cheerful and fun for all the family. You could keep the budget right down and stay in a tent or hammock, or you could hire a caravan or a glamping pod. Find somewhere that has plenty of outdoor activities to do- hiking, orienteering, cycling, bird watching, boating, fishing and more. It will cost next to nothing but is a chance to get back to nature, clear your mind and you’ll return back to work feeling refreshed and invigorated.

River and canal cruises

Ocean cruises tend to be pretty fancy, even less expensive breaks will still be relatively ‘nice’ as you have all of the luxury of the cruise ship. River and canal cruises can  be a little more humble, they’re often not as luxurious as cruise liners but provide you with an incredible way to see the world. Because they utilise rivers, canals and inland water networks, you get to see towns and cities and you’re right in the heart of the action. Whether it’s a larger boat as a passenger, or a boat you’re going to hire and drive yourself then it’s something well worth putting on your travel bucket list.

Top 5 Outdoorsy Things to Do To Escape The Urban Jungle

Top 5 Outdoorsy Things to Do To Escape The Urban Jungle

If you ever find yourself going from your house to your work and back again and the amount of outdoors and nature you see daily is only in passing, you might be stuck in an urban jungle. Now some people would not mind at all, the mere thought of not having the modern comforts at a throwing distance would make them break out in sweat. Other people would look at their urban jungle as somewhat as a prison. If you are part of the latter group, it’s time to put on your outdoorsy boots and get going. Here are the top five pursuits for intrepid adventurers.

The first on the list is obviously hiking. All you really need is a good pair of hiking boots, a daypack with some water and food and a general plan of where you are going. You can choose to just go hike in the local woodlands area, or you can plan a bigger adventure out on rolling plains. Hiking can be as cheap or expensive as you want it to be.

The next big outdoorsy adventure for most is fishing. There is something truly mesmerizing about being at a lake, with just your thoughts and a fishing rod to keep you company. In a busy world with our always-on always-reachable devices in our pockets, this is a great way to unwind and slow down. Ditch your phone in your fishing backpack and go find your center again.

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

While you go hiking and fishing down, you might as well go camping. A tent, a spot for a campfire and some marshmallows are all you need. Nothing beats waking up in your tent, emerging to a smoldering campfire, starting the fire up again and boil some water on it for your hot cup of coffee. All while you feel one with nature. Doubly so when nature indeed calls, and you have to figure out what to do.

If camping is just a step up for you, consider climbing. Obviously, you will need some proper training before you even attempt to climb, it’s not something you can just jump into. Also, you will need some gear to be able to climb whatever your target is. With some patience, training, equipment and a decent amount of rational thinking, climbing might be your thing. Just don’t jump into freestyle climbing straight away. Not all of us can pretend to be Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

And if climbing isn’t hardcore enough for you, try spelunking. Again, not for the fainthearted or ill-prepared, but spelunking will genuinely open a whole new world. Many miles away from your regular office cubicle. Still, as with climbing, you will need patience, training, and gear. Consider going on courses and guided tours for a while. Even if you think you are ready to do it without an instructor or guide, make sure you have people with you. And if you ever decide to go solo, let people know what you are doing and where you will be.

If Your Wellbeing Is Suffering Then Your Lifestyle Might Be Due A Change

If Your Wellbeing Is Suffering Then Your Lifestyle Might Be Due A Change

Many people struggle through problems when it comes to their physical and mental health. In some cases, this is the way forward. Time can heal most things. Sometimes, however, problems with your health won’t simply disappear if you wait them out. Sometimes, you have to directly address those problems if you want to make a positive difference to your life. If your wellbeing is suffering with no sign of improvement then your lifestyle might be due a change. Here are some ways in which you could achieve that change.

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Start developing healthier eating patterns.

One way in which you should try to improve your lifestyle and overall wellbeing is to start developing healthier eating patterns. Regardless of your current waistline size, eating healthily could massively improve your overall wellbeing. The food in your gut even affects your mental state; it changes the way we think. Weight is only a small factor when it comes the food we eat. Being slim doesn’t necessarily equate to eating well, and this is the problem with so many fad diets. Denying your budy the sustenance it needs isn’t good for you. Instead, you need to focus on cutting junk food out of your diet and replacing those bad food options with healthier alternatives. Whole foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are examples of healthy natural food.

The less processing is involved with the food you eat, the better it’ll be for your body. The goal is to ensure your meals have high nutritional value. You shouldn’t be scared of calories; just avoid empty calories. Remember that being underweight is as bad for your physical and mental wellbeing as being overweight. A filling diet is key to long-term healthiness. You might achieve your weight goals more gradually, but you’ll maintain that healthy weight because you’ll be following a diet that can be sustained in the long run. It’s about getting into a healthy eating pattern rather than trying new !quick fix” diets every couple of weeks.

Say goodbye to damaging habits.

We talked about developing good habits in the previous point, but it’s also important to say goodbye to damaging habits if you want to change your lifestyle in a way that benefits both your physical and mental wellbeing. We talked about this in terms of cutting junk food out of your diet, but damaging habits can come in many forms. Some people can moderate their intake of junk food, alcohol, and other treats that are fine on occasion. But if you consume such things excessively then it might be time to cut them out of your daily routine. If you’ve been struggling to do so then you should seek help from loved ones or even a therapist. Addictions can damage more than just your physical and mental wellbeing, after all; they affect those around us. If excessive drinking has put you behind the wheel and caused an incident then you might want to seek help from a defense attorney. It’s important to resolve your issues on all levels if you want to make a lasting change to your lifestyle and overall wellbeing.

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Allow yourself time to unwind.

Every day, you should allow yourself 20-30 minutes of relaxation. Allow yourself more if you have time, but that should be the initial goal you set for yourself. You might be a busy modern-day adult, but don’t underestimate the importance of taking time to unwind on a daily basis. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Even relaxing on the couch whilst you watch sports could have a hugely beneficial impact on your mental state. It could be a chance to invite some friends over too. You should set aside some relaxation time for socializing with your buddies, family members, and new people. Talking to others and having a laugh is essential to your health.

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