Can your mind affect your physical performance?
Sure it can. To see how your thoughts can influence your body, do the following exercise. (You will need a friend to help you.)
1. Hold one arm out straight to your side, parallel to the floor, hand open, thumb pointing down. Have your friend test your strength by pushing your arm down while you resist.
If you are too strong for your friend, then test your strength by forming a circle with the thumb and first finger of either of your hands, holding them tightly together and seeing if your friend can pull them apart.
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2. Now relax for a moment. When you are ready, hold your arm out again in the same position but this time think about a time when you lost, when you were defeated and humiliated, when you felt terrible about your loss.
While holding this thought, have your friend test your strength again. This time your friend will find it much easier to push your arm down.
3. Relax again. Then think about your most recent victory, a very satisfying success, one that you are proud of. Once again have your friend test your strength. You will be much stronger when thinking about success.
Have your friend test your strength as you think about different opponents, different coaches and trainers and your performance at various times. You will find that when you are confident, you are strong; when you have doubts, you are weak. Your mind definitely controls your body by directing and regulating the neurotransmitters in your brain.