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How do I psych myself down?

In the inverted-U theory there is a relationship between arousal states and performance. At low arousal levels performance will be low; the athlete is not psyched up. As arousal increases so does performance up to a point of optimal performance. Further increases in arousal cause performance to decline. The inverted-U reflects high performance with an optimal level of arousal and lesser performance with either low or very high arousal. In a state of high arousal there are several problems associated with that state: muscle tension, fatigue, coordination difficulties, changes in attitude and concentration. There are several tools that can be helpful to get you psyched down for training and performance and three of the best are: progressive relaxation, imagery and deep breathing. Progressive relaxation means progressively going through your body and relaxing your muscles. Deep breathing helps take the focus off anything negative and also relaxes your mind and your muscles. Imagery relates to processes to produce an internalized experience that will support or enhance training or competition. Imagery allows the athlete to focus on something positive and something specific to the sport.
Getting psyched down depends on the individual but several things that work for many people include calm music, deep circle breathing, positive calming visualizations, progressive relaxation, etc. Getting psyched down is preparing the body for a different type of action or an end to action. Most people can't act or compete with too much nervous energy or negative thoughts and need to relax before training or competition. At the end of training or competition it is also great to be able to cool down the body and the mind.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.