I am training to be a Sports Psychologist, almost finished my Masters, and I have recently started an interview series on tools, tips, and techniques for improving sport performance. In my most recent Ep I spoke to former professional baseball pitcher Pat Ahearn about a psychological skill he found extremely helpful for enhancing his baseball pitching. Pat played professionally in the US, China, Venezuela, and my home country of Australia - where won Pitcher of the Year and MVP of his team. The technique is called tapping/Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and is incredibly powerful in combating anxiety, stress, and promoting relaxation - which is conducive to peak performance.
If anybody is interested the link to the video is https://youtu.be/xxU2c8HkSL4 . There are several ways you can use it:
- Tap on these points before you perform - they send relaxing signals to the amygdala (stress & emotional) part of the brain
- Tap on these points during performance - they will help you downregulate and calm down if over-aroused
- Tap on these points when imagining performing… e.g. imagining pitching to the best hitter or imagining an upcoming game. Research shows imagining an event happen activates the same brain response (neural pathways) as an actual experience. Using this technique whilst imagining what will, or may happen, reduces the stress signals in your brain and helps you respond to it more effectively when it actually happens.
I know the technique sounds and looks weird, but there is A LOT of research behind it. For information about the evidence behind it, I posted another vid of my channel exploring this with Steve Wells. I really think this technique has the potential to be incredibly effective in boosting performance. If anybody here tries it, please let me know how you go. Really happy to hear feedback, and offer any insights I may have. I hope it is of some use. All the best,