Let’s take a moment right now to straighten it out.
On the one hand, sports psychologists have begun to recognize that athletes need to use a deeper level of consciousness when preparing mentally and doing mental rehearsal. While they do not know exactly how to teach a person to enter the alpha state, they do realize that relaxation plays an important part.
They try to get their athletes to a deeper state of mind through meditation, hypnosis or just plain relaxation, none of which assures reaching and staying at alpha.
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Then after they get the athletes relaxed, they tell them to think about playing and to be enthusiastic, to get excited about it. But you don’t remain at alpha when you get excited – if you become agitated and too mentally active, you return to beta!
Since that doesn’t work, sports psychologists try to motivate athletes by getting them all excited about playing well and winning. They show them exciting game films to the beat of the latest rock music.
That can get the athletes “pumped up,” which will probably do them some good as it gets their adrenaline pumping. But it certainly is not conducive to entering the alpha state, especially if they have not practiced and developed reliable ways of entering and functioning at alpha.
The good news is: There is a way to motivate yourself while remaining relaxed at the alpha level.