Articles on Sport psychology

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Gareth Southgate dejected after failing to score in the penalty shoot out which ended England’s chances in the Euro ‘96 semi-final match against Germany at Wembley. PA/PA Archive/PA Images

World Cup: dialling down pressure makes England victory more likely

Sport is full of high-pressure language which if eradicated can help athletes to express themselves and perform at their best.
Nathan Chen of the United States, considered a gold medal contender, falls while performing during the men’s short program figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Why Olympic athletes ‘choke’ at the Winter Games

Why can an athlete dominate their sport, but fail to perform when it counts most at the Olympic Games? A number of factors the viewing audience can't see can explain poor performances.
Canada’s Andi Naude, who came into the Olympics ranked No. 2 in the world in women’s mogul skiing, reacts after failing to complete her final run at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The agony of defeat: How Olympians can deal with failure

Failure is something all athletes need to deal with, especially when competing on the world stage that is the Olympics. Learning self-compassion can help athletes rebound from setbacks.
Sydney fans had much to celebrate after beating Hawthorn in the 2012 AFL Grand at the MCG in Melbourne.Can the Swans do it again this year? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Who will be the weakest link on AFL Grand Final day?

Hawthorn has recovered after a rough patch this season, with key players shaking off injuries and its tenacious coach returning after a health scare. So why have the Hawks earned their spot on Saturday’s…
After a nine-match winning streak, Richmond lost to Port Adelaide by 57 points in last week’s elimination final. AAP/David Mariuz

How finals fever can make a footy player better – or worse

The AFL final series – with the semi-finals starting today – is one of the most ferocious and toughest contests we will see in Australian sport. Behind the scenes, there is no doubt a fair percentage of…
We’ll do better next time. Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Don’t blame England World Cup failures on inexperience

England’s footballers have had their worst ever start to a World Cup – and, bar a miracle, face an early exit. So begins the inevitable search to understand the cause of this calamity. The squad’s inexperience…

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