THE FINAL CHALLENGE
The psychological secrets of getting 'in the zone’
Our final investigation is one for your body and mind. Put them to the test in a race for the line.
Our team have concentrated on a number of different areas of the amazing human body:
- Heart and blood
- Exercise and endurance
Our last Studio is set up to cover the ‘In the Zone 10 metre sprint’, a challenge designed to test each of the areas above plus mental attitude. Runners must keep focus, react to the starting pistol, power off the line, push muscles and the heart to work harder in the race to the finish.
The physical training of the body is a straightforward task. Lifting more weights will build muscle mass, long bouts of running will help make your heart and lungs more efficient and practice will improve your skills. But this all means nothing if when it matters, your mind is not focused.
Elite athletes are increasingly using sports psychologists to give them a competitive edge. They use techniques like visualisation and mental rehearsal to help them prepare for and deal with the pressures of competition.
Key to an athlete’s success is being able to control and channel the effects of increased adrenaline. If they get too stressed their muscles can tighten, their actions may be mistimed and they can lose focus. Athletes aim to be loose, relaxed and ready for action!
Could your dreams become a training ground?
Elements of the Hollywood blockbuster Inception might not be so science fiction after all...
A study in America suggests that people who are able to rehearse a task in their dreams, can hone their skills and improve their performance back in the real world.
The researchers worked with participants who experience the unusual phenomenon of ‘lucid dreams’. Though the dreamer is technically asleep, they are aware of their situation and are able to control the content of their dreams.
The dreamers were asked to practice the task of flipping a coin into a cup during their dreams. All those who had managed to rehearse the activity in a dream showed a significant improvement in the physical task.
The researchers believe that dreams have the potential to offer a hyper realistic environment for rehearsal and could benefit elite sports people.