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Mental Training For Olympic Athletes

As the Beijing Olympics rapidly approach, understanding the preparation athletes must go through can be insightful for everyone. And, for the athlete, mental preparation can be just as important as physical training.

“This is especially true for those athletes who have never been to the Olympics before,” says Michael Sachs, Ph.D., a kinesiology professor at Temple’s College of Health Professions.

Sachs said. “There is tremendous opportunity for distraction; you’re in a new country, interacting with athletes from different disciplines and from countries all over the world. Some countries will go so far as to sequester their athletes so there’s no chance for distraction.”

Sachs notes that some of the smaller countries tend to place more emphasis on their athletes’ performance than larger countries might.

“It’s a question of pride. For someone from Sweden, to win the gold means a lifetime of fame — he’ll be a national hero. But if that same person doesn’t do as well, they could carry that with them for a long time.”

The United States will send a group of sports psychologists to counsel American athletes on any number of problems. Sachs says they could range from relationship issues to family problems to illness or injury.

“The main thing is to get the athletes back to being focused on the event,” he said. “All the other little things will still be there after, but for right now, this one event is all that matters.”

Source: Temple University

Mental Training For Olympic Athletes

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Mental Training For Olympic Athletes. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 16, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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