Sport and Exercise Psychology


Getting in the ZONE IV: Arousal Regulation

In part I of this series on achieving a state of flow, I introduced the concept of flow and described some of the characteristics of the state. In part II I explained how you can avoid turning failure into a negative force and, indeed, use it as a means of learning and improving, thus bringing you a big step closer to flow. The third part was a quick and simple attempt to point out that it's not quick and simple to achieve flow, and that every individual will have a different experience.

Now, I want to get to the nuts and bolts of achieving flow. I WANT to but I can't yet. What good are nuts and bolts if there is nothing to hold together? Some basic background is necessary to expedite things.

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Getting in the ZONE II: Don't Dwell On Failures

You've heard that one before, I'll bet. Don't dwell on your failures. That is one of those aphorisms that I'm always getting on about.

Easier said than done right?

We WILL fail. We will make mistakes. Not all of our goals will be reached in a timely manner. We will have set-backs.

And we will be disappointed. We will be angry. Many times at ourselves.

And we can learn to turn it around and make failure our friend.

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Getting In The ZONE

You know what I'm talking about, probably, and when you are at the gym trying to get that big PR, feeling all anxious about it, you've probably wondered how to get in that ZONE and if it's possible to learn.

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Explain the Opposite

You know what this is even if you haven't heard the term. You've come across it many times. You may not be a geek like me who reads psychology texts in his spare time, but I can guarantee you’ve seen it. Many times, in fact. And if you've posted on fitness related web-sites as much as I have you've seen it hundreds of times.

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Critical Thinking: What It Is And Why It Counts

The late George Carlin worked “critical thinking” into one of his comedic monologue rants on the perils of trusting our lives and fortunes to the decision making of people who were gullible, uninformed, and unreflective. Had he lived to experience the economic collapse of 2008 and 2009, he would have surely added more to his caustic but accurate assessments regarding how failing to anticipate the consequences of one’s decisions often leads to disastrous results not only for the decision maker, but for many other people as well. After years of viewing higher education is more of a private good which benefits only the student, we are again beginning to appreciate higher education as being also a public good which benefits society. Is it not a wiser social policy to invest in the education of the future workforce, rather than to suffer the financial costs and endure the fiscal and social burdens associated with economic weakness, public health problems, crime, and avoidable poverty?

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Lip Service: Superficial Terms in the Fitness Industry

Words can be very powerful. But words themselves aren’t everything; it’s how you string them together. Their context.

Brian Grasso said in an article, “We are a term crazy industry”. Yes, and I’d go so far as to say we are a term OBSESSED industry. Terms sometimes become more important than the message, or lack thereof.

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Let Go of the Fitness Guru Mentality

I’ve had a lot of people ask me where I do my reading. What books they should read, etc. While I have endeavored to point them to some good resources I don’t think most people “get it” when it comes to learning, yet. Most of the time what they really want to know is where that ultra-secret font of knowledge is. The one thing that will just open their eyes. An article by some “guru” that will just clear up so many mysteries, they can read it and feel like an instant expert and never have any doubts about their training at all. Funny how doubts is one of the main things that has kept me growing. Doubts tempered with faith, I guess you could say.

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