Sophrology to prepare for a sports competition

When to use sophrology

Sophrology is defined as the training of the body and mind to develop serenity and well-being.

It can also be effective to prepare for an important and stressful event such as a sporting competition. It helps sportsmen and women to reach their objectives and to surpass themselves thanks to good mental preparation.

How does sophrology help to prepare for a sports competition?

Sophrology is used to treat symptoms linked to stress before a competition, such as

  • sleep disorders,
  • loss of self-confidence,
  • difficulties in concentrating,
  • a drop in motivation.

The techniques used include breathing, dynamic relaxation, and mental visualization. Together, they allow us to get to know our bodies better, to better manage effort and pain, and promote recovery. It is a key tool for combining pleasure and fluidity.

Success story: preparing for the “diagonal des fous” with sophrology

Emmanuelle Clapier, psychologist and sophrologist at the Alegria medical centre, remembers accompanying a female runner in the preparation of the Diagonale des fous on Reunion Island. “It’s an extremely difficult race where a strong mind is essential. So that’s what we worked on, using visualizations, relaxation, and breathing techniques to better cope with the pain… And this athlete achieved the objective she had set herself: to finish this race.”

How does a sophrology session go?

The sessions can be done alone or in a group and last about an hour. They are designed for both amateur and elite athletes. However, it is essential to combine regular practice between sessions so that you become autonomous in your mental preparation.

The exercises are simple and effective, for example, during the visualization work, you will be asked to imagine the gesture, the race, or the game in order to be able to better regulate the emotions that prevent concentration such as fear, stage fright or pressure. In the case of a team sport, working on group cohesion is also important.

This information is not a substitute for medical advice. You must seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health condition. 

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