Tag: psychology

(R)Evolutionary Endurance

Mental Toughness Provides the Athlete With Both a Natural and a Developed Edge

But do we really understand what mental toughness is? A better understanding of the psychological factors that elevate sporting performance will lead to improved evidence-based, practical, psychological intervention for athletes. During competition, an athletes’ behavioural responses rely on various psychological factors, including mental toughness, and its role is pivotal in supporting adaptive responses to pressure.…
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There is No Magic 10,000 Hours Rule

The popular account of deliberate practice is wrong No one, no matter how gifted, is born an expert in chess, or with the ability to play the violin. And no one, no matter how much they practice, can be an expert in everything. It is widely accepted that the path to becoming an expert is a long…
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You Don’t Have to Be Mentally Tough to Be an Ultra-Marathoner, but It Does Help

Or, why we all have the psychology to run very long distances It all started with a very long run…. The Mourne Mountains sit between Belfast and Dublin, nestled beside the Irish sea. They are a wild, and beautiful range, with hidden loughs, nearby forests, and trails throughout. It is a dream for any mountain trail…
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Own the Challenge, Own Your Performance

Tools used in high-performance sports that deliver success in life Much of our life is found in challenging environments. All of us will find, at times, that we are losing control, or perspective, whether in work, education, or even relationships. There are however some key mental strategies, underpinned by hard science, that can be implemented to…
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Aerobic training drives psychological changes

Early analysis of, as-yet, unpublished research, suggests aerobic training for an ultra-marathon may be linked to psychological changes. On a single case study, of an individual training for a first ultra-marathon, psychological measures of personality, motivation and mental toughness were taken before and after training, fifteen months apart. Analysis of data reflected: Increased feelings of opportunity to…
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What is Flow?

The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as the ‘state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter – the experience is so enjoyable that people will do it at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it’. If the ultra-marathoner didn’t love the immersion of running in the…
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What are the 4 c’s?

According to many researchers Mental Toughness is key to success in all sports. Defined by Crust and Clough (2005) as The 4 C’s, challenge, commitment, control and confidence.  Mentally Tough individuals are said to:  View negative experiences as challenges  Be influential and control negative life experiences  Be deeply involved and committed to achieving goals Be confident…
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Does Evolutionary Psychology help us understand Endurance?

Evolutionary biology suggests that endurance running was important in the pursuit of prey, and instrumental in the evolution of hominins. According to fossil evidence, key physiological adaptions may have evolved approximately two million years ago to benefit long distance running. The relatively new field of evolutionary psychology, like cognitive science, identifies the human mind as…
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