Psychological Factors that Improve Sports Performance

If you want to achieve maximum athletic performance, it's important that you consider the psychological factors that improve your abilities. Take note, as we list these factors in the following article!
Psychological Factors that Improve Sports Performance

Last update: 10 November, 2019

The psychological factors are the mental factors that help and contribute to athletes having the right mood for a good performance.

Certainly, psychology refers to the many aspects of the mind and how this affects the body. It’s one of the biggest determinants of winning and losing at the elite level of sports. Moreover, athletes must be able to cope with the pressure, whether external or internal, so they can focus on the competition.

Trust and stress management play a prominent role in sports performance, and the lack of these can be detrimental to performance. Goal setting is a key psychological factor because it allows people to focus their resources on a single purpose.

Likewise, although many people may think that it doesn’t have as much impact, studies have shown that psychological factors play a very important role in sports performance and the ability to achieve objectives. Therefore, below we review which psychological factors improve athletic performance.

Girl training with kettlebell to improve performance.

Psychological factors that improve sports performance


The first of the psychological factors that improve athletic performance is concentration. You should know that concentration is one of the keys to achieving sports excellence since it allows you to stay focused on what you are doing. This positively affects the performance and the final result, in addition to minimizing errors.

2.-Management of stress and anxiety

There are no athletes who have never experienced the pre-game nervousness. In fact, most of them consider stress and anxiety a wake-up call and a sign of preparation.

Certainly, to be a successful athlete you must learn to deal with anxiety and stress since it’s the only way to achieve a state of concentration and not have your performance affected.

3. Motivation

Motivation is related to the impulse that you have or need to feel to show your sports talent. It’s the determining factor that allows you to continue in those moments of difficulty and overcome obstacles.

“The obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you come across a wall, don’t turn around and leave. You find the way to get on it, to pass through it or to surround it.”
-Michael Jordan-

4.-Visualization and performance

Athletes who can visualize themselves being successful will be more likely to achieve the goals they set. People must fight against the inner voice that tells them they can not complete their goals. To silence this negative voice, athletes can visualize success and practice the internal dialogue.

Woman running to improve her performance.


Trust is the most important mental factor in sports since it’s about the mental strength with which you believe in your ability to achieve goals.

In fact, trust is so important because you can have all the ability of the world to perform well, but if you don’t trust in your ability, then you won’t reach your goal.


Setting goals can be a successful tactic to improve sports psychology. These objectives, however, must be realistic, since the goals must be designed with attainable achievements in the short term.

Woman overtraining to improve her performance.

Keep in mind that if you plan to achieve exaggerated goals that you can’t reach, it can lead to a loss of confidence and motivation. Therefore, time goals established by athletes should always be achievable and short-term.

However, you should know that creating goals is a beneficial exercise for psychology and trust. By focusing on goals you have already achieved, the achievement becomes tangible and visual and draws a clear picture of the situation. In addition, it brings a sense of recognition and self-esteem to a job well done.

Finally, keep in mind that the factors that improve sports performance can make the difference that will allow you to reach the proposed objectives. So, if you want to show your maximum potential in any type of sporting activity that you perform, you should know that psychology is a determining factor. This shows that greater control of yourself can be the differential factor between success and failure!

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