Dr. Darlene Treese
PO Box 547
Windermere, FL 34786
(480) 296-3358

New Office Address
2295 S. Hiawassee Rd,
Suite 309
Orlando, FL 32835
Phone: 407-278-1598 Fax:407-203-0803

Dr. Dar's Weekly News You Can Use:

Bringing Sports Psychology Into Your Life: Controlling Adrenaline

Your total concentration and optimal performance can only happen when you find your personal optimal level of arousal and adrenalin. When you are in a competitive situation your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate and muscle tension increase. Adrenalin flows from your adrenal gland to get your body ready to compete. Too often coaches think that athletes perform their best when the adrenalin is really pumping and the arousal level at its highest. They make the mistake of confusing arousal with motivation and are always trying to get the athlete psyched up. The truth is that many athletes perform better when they are psyched down rather than psyched up.

You can find your ideal level by noticing your physical and mental state. If your adrenalin level is too low, you may lose interest, get bored or not try as hard as you should. If your adrenalin level is too high, you will tighten up, fatigue quicker, feel overwhelmed, be more susceptible to muscle cramps and your movements and thoughts will be choppy.

The higher your level of self confidence means the higher level of arousal and adrenalin you can tolerate and enjoy. It also means that you will probably make mistakes when that arousal state is not high enough for your focus will be distracted. The more complicated the task, the less tolerant you will be for high levels of adrenalin and arousal because you need to do more analytical thinking. Your muscle coordination and timing will be off if your arousal levels are too high. Time and effort and intensity needed also play a role. The shorter the duration of the activity, the more likely you will need higher arousal and adrenalin - (500 yard dash vs a marathon.)

Think about the goals, projects and tasks before you now. What is your optimal level of arousal needed to get them done well? Notice how it varies in different activities. If you are bored or unable to focus, ramp up the arousal and adrenalin by psyching yourself up with positive, motivating self talk. If you're feeling overwhelmed and experience that tightness in your body, ratchet down the adrenalin and pressure by soothing the critical self talk and breaking the task down into easily completed components. When you know that you control the dial and the flow of adrenalin, you have a sense of being able to handle any situation rather than being overtaken by it.

Next Week: Bringing Sports Psychology Into Your Life: Internal Distracters