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Emotional control key to Olympic success

-a University of Wolverhampton professor has argued.
Sports Psychologist is an expert in mood and human performance. He argues regulating emotions is important in competitive sports that require individuals to perform at their optimum under conditions that create intense psychological states, which in turn increase physical tiredness.
“Emotions such as anger, depression and tension can accompany increases in fatigue when individuals believe their ability to achieve their goal of, for example, winning their race or match at the Olympic Games, is under threat,” Prof Lane says.
“But the competitors who view feelings of fatigue as a necessary part of achieving their goal of winning a medal or gaining a personal best are more able to repair negative emotions that can jeopardise performance at the highest level.”
Professor Lane is part of a team of researchers who have recently been awarded a £2 million grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to look into emotion regulation.
Prof Lane, from the , will be researching how athletes regulate their emotions and developing tactics to enhance performance through emotional control.
He argues that a combination of “self-regulation” techniques, which are either automatic or controlled responses to emotions, and “intervention” strategies, such as relaxation, appropriate goal-setting and self-talk methods, is the best way of dealing with intense emotions during training and participation in sport.
The ESRC funded project, "Emotion Regulation of Others and Self: A Collaborative Research Network", aims to investigate the mental and behavioural processes of emotion regulation. Understanding how people control their emotions can benefit individual well-being and the performance of society. The project will involve a team of nine academics working on the £2 million project over four years.

Further information

For further information contact Vickie Woodward in the Press Office on 01902 322736 or 07973 335112.
Professor Andy Lane is an expert in psychological factors such as mood, emotional intelligence and mental toughness and their influence on performance. He has recently published a new book, Sport and Exercise Psychology: Topics in Applied Psychology (2008).

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