1. The mental edge
In 2016, 12 professional psychologists accompanied Team GB to the Olympics in Rio. They helped the athletes employ a host of techniques to get a psychological advantage over their competitors.
We all face situations of high pressure in life where we would like to improve our performance - whether that's job interviews, public speaking, or weekend sports.
So could sports psychology techniques such as ‘self-talk’ and ‘visualisation’ improve performance under pressure? A study carried out by the BBC in 2012 aimed to find out. Over 44,000 people took part, and the results have been published. Discover what we learned and whether it could work for you.
3. CLICKABLE: The three core skills
In 2012, a ground-breaking experiment tested the effectiveness of three psychological tools -- self-talk, visualisation and if-then planning -- in a high-pressure online game. Click to learn more about these techniques.
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4. The sports psychology test
In May 2012, the public was invited to take part in an ambitious mass-participation experiment. Over 44,000 people took a test on the BBC Lab UK website. They were asked to play a high-pressure game and their performance was measured before and after being instructed to use one of the three techniques above.
The results -- published in March 2016 -- show that psychological techniques do seem to be effective for improving performance in high-pressure tasks and will act as a basis for future research. Such research could examine situations where performance really matters, and could be used to find out what techniques are most effective in the real world.
Psychological skills in everyday life
So it's starting to look like these techniques -- simple tricks you can put into practice yourself -- can really help all of us in pressurised situations.
5. Other arenas
Which sports psychology techniques are used in the following areas?